Giving to the Poor is problematic

Hold on, cow tipping season is here! Sacred cows that is. Theological cows must be tipped. Giving to the poor is on the table today.

Why in the world would I write an article that question if you would give to the poor? That’s a great question. It is one that many think about but won’t ask anyone.

Who is the poor of the earth?

I hear people talk all the time about giving to the poor of the earth. We hear great messages about it at conferences and we hear sermons on it too. What exactly does it mean and who exactly is the poor?

A person is not poor because he is not a middle class American. He is not poor for lacking a British passport or working in Australia. Our thinking on who is poor is off… way off.

Poor is the lack of food, not the lack of a smartphone. Poor is the lack of water, not the lack of Red Bull. Poor is the lack of shelter, not the lack of a tablet.

I can show you places in the Philippines that you would said was very poor. However, they have shelter. It might not look pretty or be very nice but it serves its’ purpose. They stay dry when it rains.

They eat food when they are hungry. It might only be fish and rice but they eat. They drink water, it might be tap water but it is water.

Poverty is not a look

We have this idea of what poverty looks like. We need to look past that see if the poor have abilities to function. If the basic needs are met, it is hard to call them really poor.

I believe what we have in the Philippines and many countries is a thinking too focused on North American models. Our idea of poverty is not being upper class is much of the world.

Living different does not make you poor.