I decided to watch the debate the last night. No, today’s post is not political in nature. Lord knows we’ve heard enough politics and scandals recently. I watched the debate nonetheless, being a responsible voter and all, and was humored by two multi-millionaires talk about the economic troubles our country is facing. Clinton and Trump both smugly offered up the kind of plans only a career politician and billionaire businessman could.
But they both missed the boat. The poverty that our country faces is not related to the haves and have-nots or to money in general. We think real poverty exists only in third world countries or in the dirtiest slums and inner city neighborhoods of America. That is real physical poverty and no doubt, it is a terrible problem, but what our presidential candidates fail to notice is a poverty far worse than that…the spiritual poverty that is slowly permeating our society.
“The spiritual poverty of the Western world is much greater than the physical poverty of our people in Calcutta. You in the West have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness…These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are in another way. They know they need something more than money, yet they don’t know what it is. What they are missing really is a living relationship with God.”
This quote from the late Mother Teresa, someone who’s seen and experienced real physical poverty, is spot on in regards to the state of America today. Real loneliness and emptiness exists in the lives of people all around us. The racial divide in our country is the largest since the Civil Rights Movement. Even some members of the church are not always distinct but rather follow the currents of the society in which they live. To say we are experiencing spiritual poverty would be an understatement.
Yet there is hope. It’s not found in our next President, although they could contribute in amazing ways if they wanted to. It’s not found in a bigger paycheck or less taxes or more possessions. The only cure to the poverty we face is an intimate and rewarding relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. Knowing him would help bridge the gap between the different races in our communities. Communing with him would ease the anxieties and fears many face in their day to day lives. And most importantly, living for him will bring us greater riches in Heaven than we could ever imagine.
Now, if we could just get our next leader to lead as if they had to answer to God, we could be a greater nation again both spiritually and physically.