Day 12 – How poor is poor?

 

I’m a little annoyed with the Jan. 12 message in “Simple Abundance,” starting with the title “There is No Scarcity.”

The gist is that we shouldn’t worry about money…our financial status ebbs and flows, and “You have the power to change your lifestyle and move from a feeling of lack and deprivation to a feeling of abundance and fulfillment.”

 …

I’m sorry, but to me that’s a load of garbage. There are millions of people in the country, and billions around the world, who live in abject poverty. They get up each day hungry, they routinely go without adequate food, housing and clothing. Yes, some are living the consequences of choices, others the consequences of illness or other circumstances beyond their control. (Like kids…they can’t help the world their parents brought them into.)

To address something as complex as “scarcity” with a simple homily of Oh, don’t worry…just forego your double lattes for a few days, and you’ll be fine is just plain ignorant. I realize this book was written several decades ago, but the same was true then.

I’ve had the feeling since starting this book that it was written for “the haves” much more than the “have nots.” And if that’s the purpose, that’s fine…for them. I’m definitely on the “have” side of the equation these days (relatively speaking), but I grew up a “have not,” and it’s a hard feeling to shake.

So if you’re reading this and you’re a “have not,” if you’ve already shaved your budget down to a thread and still can’t care for yourself or your family, here’s a message for you:

Matthew 5:

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

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In late 2015 I started reading “Simple Abundance” a daily devotional by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It’s more than a devotional; it’s a guide to recognizing, and seeking, the joy in each moment. I haven’t quite reached that state, but I’m hopeful. I’ve decided to share my daily thoughts on this blog. I’d love to hear yours as well.

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