We had a good discussion last night about the nature of poverty and how our particular viewpoint tends to differ from how it’s perceived locally. We tend to think of poverty as a lack of material possession, and our ways of addressing it reflect that view - more money, more aid. Alternatively, we were given a different perspective of poverty being more about a state of mind and feeling than a lack of material goods - despite a true lack of material goods. Poverty being a feeling of isolation, helplessness, and depression. Believing oneself to be a burden, dependent on others, and having little, if any, value.
Yet the Scripture says something so different. We are all not just made by God and for God, but we are image bearers of the Living God. We have dignity, value, worth, and created for His purpose. The Gospel tells us that Christ died for us to redeem and reconcile us to God and restore our intended place in creation. We are not people defined by our wealth, geography, status, career, or hobbies. We are a people, a global people, defined by and united in our faith in Christ.
A good exercise for us today was to examine ourselves and each other to reflect where, not if, various forms of poverty exist in our own lives. Whatever poverty we feel, we should not be robbed of joy if we are in Christ. The Bible says the struggles of this life are but a light and momentary affliction preparing us for an eternal weight of glory. Therefore, we are to look not to the things that are seen and transient, but to the things that are unseen and eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). It’s to the inheritance promised to us as children of God (Romans 8:17) that we look towards to endure and love all image bearers of God with lasting joy.
On a side note, for Constance folks, we met Aaron Williamson’s exact Haitian replica of personality and mannerisms today. Jer and I were legitimately in some form of amazement.