Author: Ravi Jayakaran
Category: Poverty and Wealth
As a development practioner I have always been focused on the issue of Poverty and how to fight it. As a Christian , my focus is on the marginalized, the overlooked and downtrodden- and this too has called for a focus on the poor and issues of poverty. As I write this blog I realize that wealth and issues of wealth do also closely figure with issues of poverty, for it is often the relentless selfish pursuit of wealth that results in poverty for others. Someone once said, ’the world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for their greed’. Jesus often spoke about both the poor and the wealthy, so there is a need for us to also look at both these states as states to be seen in comparison with each other.
In recent years I have defined Poverty as follows:
“when your expenditure on a consistent basis is more than your income without the creation of an asset, you are poor”. I have never tried to define wealth, because that has not been my focus. By the same type of definition, I suppose wealth could be defined as follows: “when your income on a consistent basis is more than you expenditure, allowing you to generate surplus to purchase assets, you can be considered to be on the way to becoming wealthy”. Let us consider these two definitions as our starting point and explore them further through dialoging about them. Once we have engaged on this , let us also try and see what the Bible says about these two states and their interaction with each other. Let us also explore the comparison and interaction between the two states and see what spiritual lessons Jesus says we can learn from being in either of these states. The Bible says the poor are blessed, and also talks of wealth as a blessing….
I hope I have managed to provoke the readers enough through these initial words to start the conversation. I look forward to hearing your thoughts…