Real Poverty

real-povertyI 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.”

-Mother Teresa

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.



7 thoughts on “Real Poverty

  1. Joe it would be impossible to agree with you more. What you have said is exactly right – America needs a good ole fashion revival and needs it yesterday. We are, in fact, the Church of Laodicea and as such repentance is our only recourse.

    We need only be reminded of 2 Chronicles 7:14 that ” if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

    May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you and yours always, Joe.

    Yours in Christ;

    1. Joe Butler

      Thank you Michael. I’m honored by your comments considering that I greatly appreciate the work you do through your own writing. I’m always so worried of sounding unpatriotic, but I honestly do feel that we as a nation have lost our first love. There are many in the church today who are still fighting the good fight, but we are slowly being drowned out by the majority of Americans, some Christians included, who have sacrificed the one true God for the idolatry of this world. You reminded me of that beautiful promise in 2 Chronicles that God is always willing to grant forgiveness if only we’ll admit our sinful ways and come clean about how we need him and only him. Our land definitely needs healing this very moment and I hope and pray that we can have some influence to make it happen in our lifetimes.
      As always, God bless you and the work that you do in your service to our Lord.

  2. I completely agree. A good reminder for everyone to do what WE can do – be a light in our communities – regardless of who our next president is! Great post.

    1. Joe Butler

      Thank you Emmie. We’ve all seen so much anxiety around this election. It would be better to remind ourselves of who we ultimately serve and what we can do with our individual lives to honor Him. God bless.

      1. Joe – very true. I finally wrote a blog post about this election season called “Holding onto Hope Through the Election” – here’s a little piece of it: “So how can the outcome of the 2016 election give you hope? We must continue trusting God, and acknowledging his purpose to be greater (and far more worthy) than our own. The more we value his eternal purpose, the less disappointed we will be at the failure of our temporary desires.”
        It can be hard to hold onto hope when everything looks bleak but we have to remember WHO truly appoints our leaders. And he doesn’t appoint them for our personal satisfaction, but ultimately for HIS glory!

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