Here is chapter 1 of Brian Houston’s book ‘Why You Need More Money,
Human nature is fascinating. There are the people who have money, but feel guilty and uncomfortable about their wealth. Then there are those who don’t have any money, but continually criticise and condemn those who do.
The age old conflict between the “haves” and the “have-nots” rages on because wrong thinking is passed through generations. It is not about being poor, but it all boils down to poor thinking. That is what this book is all about – straightening out perceptions about money, breaking the poverty mentality and becoming comfortable with wealth.
Many people are so locked into the concept of being poor that it doesn’t even cross their minds that life can be different. They are uncomfortable with even the thought of being more prosperous. More often than not, this is a generational issue.
Consider how limiting this is in terms of what their life can accomplish. There is a lot more to life than money, but many people are plundered because of this poor mindset. Even the church suffers because of misunderstanding in this area.
The church us actually in a sad state in terms of its attitude to wealth. Religious traditions of past generations have established strongholds that cause the church today to see blessing in terms of what others may donate or give. Yet the church needs to see blessing in terms of what she is able to give to others. Our storehouses should be full and overflowing, according to Malachi, chapter three.
I believe that God wants the church to have the kind of wealth that the world experiences. Isaiah 60:5 declares
Then you shall see and become radiant, And your heart shall swell with joy; Because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you.
See it this way: Money can accomplish tremendous things for the Kingdom of God. In order to do this, we have to become comfortable with wealth, and break the bondage, guilt and condemnation of impoverished thinking. Poverty is definitely not God’s will for His people. In fact, all His promises talk of blessing and prosperity
So where does that leave the poor?
For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. (Mark 14:7)
Jesus said that the poor will always be with us, but I don’t believe He was telling us that we should desire to be poor. There is nothing noble about poverty or someone’s inability to lift themselves up out of it.
Being poor doesn’t make you
a second rate citizen
William Booth started the Salvation Army because of the way his church treated the poor. They were embarrassed by the people who come in off the street and put them around the side so that no-one else could see them.
It is tragic that society has, over the centuries, classed itself and built prejudices based on wealth.
Being poor doesn’t necessarily
equate to godliness
There are those who emphatically reject the notion that God could want them to be wealthy. They feel more comfortable serving God with nothing, but with this mentality, they limit their ability to bless anyone, and actually require others to resource them. They become part of the need instead of the answer.
Somehow people have misinterpreted the words Jesus spoke telling the rich young ruler to “sell all he had and give it to the poor” in order to follow Him (Mark 10:21). While there are those who are called to serve God by working with impoverished people, there are also those who are called to be successful business people in affluent centres of the world. Neither is necessarily better, as long as you are doing and being who God has called you to be.
Paul spoke on being content in whatever state you are in. There were times when his bank balance was healthy and times when it wasn’t.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Philippians 4:11,12)
He wrote that “Contentment with godliness is great gain”, not that poverty with godliness is great gain! It is not an issue of covetousness or being ruled by money, but rather having a spirit of contentment.
Being poor doesn’t necessarily mean
having no money
Poor isn’t about how much money you have. You can have no money but still not be poor. This is because poor is a way of thinking.
A person may be in a stage in their life where they haven’t yet built the financial resource God has called them to enjoy, but with a foundation based on godly principles, the fruit will follow, if their thinking lines up with the Word of God.
Poor is not permanent
If it was the will of the Lord for you to be poor in your life, the scriptures would not be full of promises of prosperity.
Biblical prosperity is built over a process of a person’s life. Part 2 looks at biblical principles and God’s promises of prosperity.
While you are certainly not judged for being poor, the fact is, that you are limited by being poor. This is why those in need should begin to believe God for wealth, so that firstly, they can live lives that reflect the promise of God, and secondly, they can be a blessing and help others.
FROM POOR THINKING TO
There is a businessman and his wife in our church who once told me their personal vision. It may sound grandiose but their thinking blessed me. Their personal vision is to “fund and finance the salvation of the earth”. This young couple are committed to seeing it come to pass, and have given hundreds of thousands of dollars, above tithes and offerings, into the work of the ministry.
Bill, who is now in his thirties, came to our church at the age of 17. He came from a broken home and he carried a number of hang ups, but He took the Word of God, applied it in his life and bought himself a small business. This has increased and grown to the point where his aim now is to prosper, so that money will be their tool to advance the Kingdom.
I like the way Bill thinks. One day he told me how he was believing for a new car, but instead of going out and buying it, he set himself a goal. He said he was a bit overweight and decided that he wouldn’t get his dream car until he had lost a certain amount of weight. It was his own little reward system: no weight loss, no car!
Now, does the Lord mind Bill having this new car? Certainly not. The Bible says that wealth and riches
will be in a righteous man’s house. Every year, Bill and his wife, Heather, have given more into the Kingdom to fulfil their vsion.
Yet let me point out that our church doesn’t judge our congregation according to how much money they have or don’t have. Our commitment is to preach the Word of God and see it empower them to reach their full potential in every area of their life.
It is poor thinking and bad choices that are often responsible for people battling in the financial realm. Look at how Paul explained the life of Jesus in terms of wealth and riches.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you, through His poverty, might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
I’ve heard people misinterpret this scripture to support their belief that it is biblical to be poor. They only read half of it, that “though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor.”
They completely miss the crucial point because if you read on, the reason why He became poor was that “you, through His poverty, might become rich.” That is what it says. He became poor so YOU could become rich. The purpose of Jesus coming to earth included giving up a place of abundance and riches and becoming poor so that we could escape that poverty.
GET COMFORTABLE AROUND MONEY
It is time to relax and become comfortable around money. You need to stretch yourself and position yourself right out of your comfort zone.
For example, it may involve a little exercise like putting on your best clothes and ordering coffee in a fancy restaurant or hotel lobby. Even though you could make the coffee for half the price at home, the total experience may enlarge your thinking. You may even feel better about yourself and life.
I challenge you to do something that will break any poverty thinking and guilt that has a hold on you. It may only take one cup of coffee, but it’s a step in the right direction of making you feel more comfortable about money.