Over the past 70 years of my life I have met lots of poor people. I have learned that being poor is often not a lack of money, but people are poor in many different ways. Having no money is usually a symptom of another problem that is undercover and often never addressed or taken care of. To give a poor person money, usually will not fix the problem, because something more urgent is needed. Giving a poor person money can and in many cases destroy him.
Hard as it may seem, poor people often ignore opportunities before them. They get easily offended and are quick to quit. Virtue does not spring up lightly. Another thing that I have discovered is poor people like to think that they know it all. Aristotle said it requires precept, example, habit, and ideas that echo richly through the Book of Proverbs and are proven by the character of Christ.
Was King Solomon poor? No! He was the wealthiest man ever. Was Jesus Christ poor? I have heard many people, including ministers, say that He was. But after examining the scriptures I see the truth. He was wealthy! Would a poor man have a treasurer? Jesus had one. His name was Judas. Everywhere He went people sought Him out. This is notorious for the rich and famous, never the poor. His robe was so desirable that the Roman soldiers gambled for it. Had His robe been a rag, nobody would have wanted it. Women of renown and wealthy men supported Jesus with their money. He was buried in a rich man’s tomb. What was it that these two men had in common to make them wealthy? They had a desire to please God, a desire to help others, and a desire to fulfill their God called purpose.
Sadly, among the poor we often find little appetite for these virtues that lead to prosperity. People who grow up poor usually have a poor self-image. Usually they have an unrealistic concept about life which stifles their ability. And our political system is not helpful because it gives to those who do not earn their way and takes from those who do. Our government is one of the biggest wasters of money. It interprets laziness as some kind of disease and gives money to support the cause.
Helping the poor is difficult because poverty can be a mindset. Most poor people are so programmed to be poor that if they had a lot they would still be poor. To get out of that poverty mindset it takes a transformation of the mind. This is something that only God can do.
I like what someone coined: “If you want to feed a person for a day give him a fish. If you want to feed a person for a life-time, teach him how to fish.” There are several lessons to be learned from fishing. You must have the right bait. There must be a desire to catch fish. Patience is necessary. It is a stinky job. There can be pain involved, but the results far outweigh a poverty mindset. When a fish is caught there is much joy. Life can be discouraging but those who are successful, fish on! For more information and service times visit us online at www.JoyChristianMinistries.com
Pastor J.C. Myers, III
Pastor J.C. founded Joy Christian Ministries in 1992. He was Sr. Pastor at Joy Christian Ministries in West Sacramento, California from 1992-2016. He was succeeded by his 2nd son, Pastor Brandon Myers who had been under his father's ministry and teaching for 39 years.