As Christians, we know that we are told to be generous and help others, yet when going deeper into the Bible, we can learn that there is more to this than what’s on the surface. Here are 3 Bible verses concerning poverty and how to treat others who cannot provide fully for themselves.
1. Spiritual Poverty
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9 (ESV)
Poverty is not just a term concerned with money or possessions, rather it can also be used to describe a spiritual state. We, without Jesus in our lives, are spiritually poor. Therefore, Christ himself came down to earth. Through his physically poor, humble life, we can go to God and become spiritually rich. Jesus also set an example for us through this lifestyle and showed us that we don’t need to be materialistic; being rich with money and possessions is not something of great importance, rather being spiritually rich is something to admire. We have life so that we can glorify His name rather than our own. Life is all about Him, and we are here to assist others in their journey to find spiritual richness in Christ. Through mission trips, we are given the ability to assist others in becoming spiritually rich by loving them and sharing His Word with those that we meet.
2. Relational Poverty
“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.” Leviticus 25:35 (ESV)
This verse seems to be saying that we can help those who cannot provide for themselves by taking them into our houses. Yes, this is a great idea and can definitely be done to help out our brothers and sisters, but there is also another way to look at this command. Relationships are very important in our walks with Christ. We could just meet someone, share the Gospel with them, and leave them to figure out the rest themselves, however, it is important to cultivate a true friendship with those that are new in their faith. This can help that person strengthen their faith and know what living for Christ looks like as they see you walking with Christ. New believers often look towards other believers as an example of how to live as Christ-followers, but without someone to look to, a person’s faith could fall flat. So, keeping up a relationship and strengthening it will also help others strengthen their relationship with Jesus. This causes us to be rich in relationships with fellow believers and rich spiritually.
3. Physical Poverty
“And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need” Acts 2:45 (ESV)
This verse is talking about the fellowship of believers; however, it is also a great template for how we can interact with nonbelievers. Like mentioned before, we are examples of Christ, so what better way to show nonbelievers what the lifestyle of someone following Christ looks like than treating them the same way as we would treat a believer. This is true generosity and selfishness. No, this doesn’t mean that we need to go sell all of our belonging and give the money to those in need. However, we can be generous with our money, time, and compassion. The whole “pass it forward” idea is an awesome way to share Christ’s love. Lend someone money, buy someone’s meal, spend time with someone who’s hurting. These, plus tons of other things, are ways to spread the love of Christ. This, along with telling people about the Gospel, are how seeds are planted in the lives of others and disciples are made.
Poverty, whether physical or spiritual, can all be healed by Christ, and we are given the ability to help others find this healing. Whether we are going on a mission trip to the other side of the world or going next door, we can share Christ’s love and assist in others becoming spiritually rich. If you’re interested in going on a mission trip to another country or even staying in the US, Mission Discovery has plenty of options for you! Check out our website to see the various upcoming trips we have! Get ready for a trip of a lifetime where you can help lead others to find spiritual richness in Jesus Christ!