A Theology of poverty

Today, I was reading Luke 2:22-40 as part of my daily devotions. Here we read how Mary & Joseph when presenting Jesus in the Temple bring “a pair fo doves or two young pigeons” (v24). Commenting on this verse Thabiti Anyabwile had this to say about our view and thinking on poverty:

“The two turtledoves or the two young pigeons were to be offered if a family could not afford to offer a lamb and a turtledove (v. 24; Lev 12:6-8). In other words, Jesus was born into poverty. What does it mean that the Savior of the World, the Son of God, was born to a poor mother and family? I think it implies at least seven things:

  1. Poverty is not a sin
  2. Poverty does not prevent a person from worshipping God.
  3. Poverty does not prevent a person from worshipping God.
  4. Poverty does not necessarily doom a person to poverty forever.
  5. Poverty does not excuse unrighteousness.
  6. Poverty is not harmful in and of itself.
  7. Poverty is a cross that God entrusts to some people for a time.

If some teacher or preacher tries to convince you that poverty is a sin, that poverty is God’s condemnation of you, that you have to give a certain amount of money to worship God, or that poverty excuses your sin, then do not listen to that teacher. Remember Jesus. Jesus and his family were poor, and none of those things were true of him. Jesus was not in sin. God the Father was well pleased with him.

…If we despise the poor, we show we would have likely despised the boy Jesus himself. Our Lord was poor and has infused righteous poverty with dignity and holiness.

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