Do I have the Spirit of Poverty?

One day, I was at a birthday party. The table was flooded with food and drinks. Then I’ve noticed this teenager who would get some food, go back again with a new plate and get more food. Then he would start eating. Later when the party ended, I heard him boasting about how he has already kept safe some of the special dishes without anyone noticing it. Well, that’s what he thought.

The next party, I saw him again and he was about to do the same thing. I told him to stay near to us instead of being far away. I knew he was going to the direction of his room to the the same thing. A few minutes later, he came back with an empty plate. I knew he put it in his place because there was no way he could finish all that in a few minutes. Then I thought to myself why he would always do such a thing. It does look good from the eyes of some, thinking “Oh, that was sneaky and it was good thinking.” Unfortunately, this is actually a sign of the Spirit of Poverty ruling one’s life.

Photo by Rachel Park, Unsplash

It is not bad to keep food for safety, but you do this after and not before or during a party. You have to make sure everyone gets their food first even if the food looks abundant. All the safekeeping and takeouts should be done after because if new visitors come they will at least have something to eat.

What is the Spirit of Poverty?

Poverty in Spirit is different from Spirit of Poverty. The first one is being humble the second one is that feeling that you are always in lack or afraid of not getting enough.

How do you spot or identify the spirit of lack or poverty?

If you start feeling the expectation of loss, failure, and lack—that there wouldn’t be enough for me, then that is a sign.

Pay attention to your automatic response of lack or the expectation of problems:

  • Things are always going to fail.

  • I won’t be enough.

  • I’m not smart enough.

  • I am not handsome enough or beautiful enough.

These are fingerprints of a spirit of poverty.

Maybe you are thinking, but I am really poor that is why I feel this. This is not always the case. I have met poor people who don’t have this spirit. They are poor and yet they generously give and have a positive attitude that they are not going to fail and that whatever happens, God can provide for them so they freely help people.

I’ve also met people who have more than enough and yet act so poor that they always feel they will lose everything if they give to God or they help people.

What to do about it?

Here are a few biblical examples of the truth about who you are as a beloved child of God:

  • You are more than enough.

  • God deeply loves you.

  • All things are possible in Christ Jesus. 

  • God has given you the things you need to succeed.

Ask for the spirit of abundance in your life and know that God can always provide.

I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Philippians 4:12-13

Be reminded that God has already given us everything that we need in order to succeed. We just have to look within and we need to let those skills and gifts in us grow so that we can use them as God wants them to be used.

Has God given you the gift of music or good voice? You can serve in the ministry or even use that to teach music lessons or singing lessons to kids to earn money. Are you creative? Look at how you can use that by asking God’s wisdom and leading. He is more than happy to help.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:6-7

Today, we have the choice to stay in having that Spirit of Lack in our lives or start switching and look at life with the lens of abundance knowing that God can take care of our needs as we obey him. This promise of God is not just in material things but in spiritual things as well and he his promise does not end here on earth, but his promise is life everlasting to all those who believe in him. That alone, is something we can hold on to that would make us know that if God has provided and prepared for my future, they he surely thinks of my present.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Further readings:

Identifying the Poverty in Spirit by Stephen De Silva

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