Like any of the unhealthy cycles, patterns, and templates of our lives, poverty is another that God does not intend for us. He actually desires that, not only do we have everything that we need, but that we live inside of His abundance. He is a God of extravagance and of generosity, and everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. He delights in spreading His wealth, gifting all that He has to His children for no other reason than He loves us.
If this doesn’t sound like the God that you think you know, then consider what He did in gifting us with Jesus. If God chose to give us His one and only Son, then He will not hold back any good and perfect gift from us (for nothing — not all the riches in the world — compares to Jesus’ sacrifice).
The reason we say this to begin is to emphasize that poverty is not what God has in mind for His children. Of course, poverty happens because of a multitude of reasons; some of us grow up in poverty, and struggle to break through the ceiling of even our parents’ poverty. Some of us find ourselves in poverty after the loss of a job, grotesquely high medical expenses, relational division (especially divorce). Some of us find ourselves in debt because of nothing other than our own sinful doing — poor money management.
Poverty can be a result of so many external factors (certainly beyond our control), but the cycle of poverty could be the result of an impoverished mindset. You grew up in poor conditions, and you think that it’s how it has to be for you, too. Or, you had to deal with unforeseen expenses or a lost job and now you are imprisoned in despair, and maybe bitterness, wondering, God, why me?
If you suffer from poverty because of your own poor money management, perhaps you believe that your identity, or your value, is in your material goods and not in who you are as an heir to the throne of God. Perhaps you hold on so tightly to the money that you make, but God is asking you to be generous like He is generous and tithe, or give to others, so that He can bless you with abundantly more.
If an impoverished mindset is keeping you from tithing, or giving generously to your neighbor, or from saving well, start to believe that God is who He says He is. He wants financial breakthrough for you even more than you want it for yourself. He cares that you are covered in provision and abundance. To break the cycle of poverty and money mismanagement for good, firstly, look to God as your provider, as He is our Heavenly Father; He will draw you up and out of poverty — not because of anything you’ve done, but because of who He is. Secondly, be obedient in stewarding what He has given you, even if very little right now.
Luke 16:10 says, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” For now, in your state of owning little, are you proving yourself trustworthy? God wants to give you the world (just be good with those pennies in the meantime!).
Sophie Sturdevant is the editor in chief of Godly Today, and marketing communications manager for the powerhouse team that is Miller Media Group. She lives in Denver, Colorado, and is called to helping daughters of the King rediscover their identity in Jesus and reclaiming their beauty with a heavenly perspective. She has contributed as a guest writer for The Beloved Rose, Mosaic Community Church, and Julep Beauty, and spends her time painting, drawing, and working on her passion project, wearethedaughters.com. She finds her greatest inspiration in her sisters, both physical and spiritual, and in the creative works of C.S. Lewis. Follow her on Instagram @sophiesturdevant