We are the most prosperous nation to ever exist. Surely there are not many that struggle with poverty in America, right? Wrong….
One of the top misconceptions about poverty is that there is only one kind: material poverty. However, when you take a deeper look one can see that many of us struggle with some sort of poverty. I do not believe this list is completely exhaustive, but it gives us a framework to work with. I hope this encourages you to dream of ways to invest in these areas!
1. Spiritual Poverty
When we seek to make ourselves or something “created” God. This type of poverty can impact the remaining three areas of poverty when misaligned.
2. Poverty of Self
An improper view of oneself. So often we can become too prideful in ourselves or in deep despair because of ourselves or situations.
3. Poverty of Community
Humans are made to live in community with other humans. We need to connect. However, sometimes due to many factors a “self-absorption”, “busyness”, or lack of time from working hard to provide a living can rob us of this enrichment we need in our lives.
4. Poverty of Stewardship
This has many angles. It can lead to someone becoming a workaholic or to pure laziness. It can lead people into meaningless or purposelessness. It can lead people to materialism or hoarding. It can lead us to not care about the creation all for the sake of money, etc.
These four types of poverty impact: political systems, economic systems, social systems and religious systems.
It is interesting to see how all these play off one another and can help us understand why trying to eradicate poverty is a harder challenge than just providing funding, jobs, strong families, etc. Yet, what a glorious adventure it is to seek to help others and restore hope in lives!
If you are interested in learning more about poverty and how one can help join in this fight, please check out When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and John Perkins.
What could be a follow up action for you
after reading this brief article?