Thu | Mar 21, 2019

Why are there so many struggling Christians?

Published:Saturday | February 23, 2019 | 12:25 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer

Workin’ so hard like a soldier

Can’t afford a thing on TV

Deep in my heart I’m a warrior

Can’t get food for them kid, good God

Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant

The bus stopped to allow two passengers to get onboard. The driver looked across the street and noticed an elderly lady frantically signalling for him to wait for her. He drove off and said aloud, “Every time she take the bus she always a beg ride. For a Christian, I don’t know why her God is so mean to her!”

The driver’s unkind words highlight the reality that there are a lot of struggling Christians out there, many of whom seem genuine in their service to God. It begs the question that if He is able to take care of the birds of the air, shouldn’t his children be adequately cared for?

For answers, Family and Religion reached out to Terri Ann Malibre, blogger and investment enthusiast who said, growing up and even in this present day, she is still puzzled as to why so many Christians seem to be poor.

“They can quote scripture, pray and even speak in tongues, but that power never seems to translate into material wealth. It almost seems like the word ‘rich’ is a dirty word and the struggle of barely being able to make ends meet is a measure of how Christian you are,” she observes.

Malibre says one of the possible reasons for the incorrect mindset regards the context within which people interpret scripture. Citing Mark 10:19-23 where Jesus said it would be difficult for a rich man to get into heaven, she said He was actually addressing the rich man’s heart posture.

“When Jesus asked the rich man to give away his riches and follow Him, He was testing him to see where his treasure lies. The fact is, we cannot serve God and money, and anything we exalt above God becomes an idol. We should never hold on to anything, or anyone, so tightly that if God asks us for it, we struggle to release it. In essence, that thing becomes our god,” she said, with the reminder that money is a tool to be used and not a god to be served.

“The rich man in the context of that scripture esteemed money higher than he did God. A shift in mindset is needed among Christians about how they view money. Having money or desiring wealth doesn’t make you ungodly, it merely amplifies who you are. So, if you poorly manage $100, you will more than likely poorly manage $1 million,” points out Malibre.

For her, the laws of kingdom living are counterintuitive to the way the world works. The world says grab as much as you can for yourself, but the Bible says it is in giving that we receive. “Unfortunately, we tend to adopt a scarcity mindset and hoard what we have for fear it will run out. We hold back on our tithes and offering to our detriment. I’ve seen it in my own life where choosing to be generous, within reason, and being faithful with my tithes (giving 10 per cent of earnings) has been beneficial. Because of being faithful in these areas, I’ve seen where God has opened doors personally and in business to bring in even more than I have given, which is a principle seen in Malachi 3:10,” she said.

Malibre points out that although Jesus made the comment in Matthew 26:11, “The poor you will always have with you ...”, there is no reason why it should fall on a Christian so that they end up struggling.

She said God is very intentional with His creations and He has put gifts and talents in each that they can be put to use to create wealth.

“Unfortunately, we forget that faith is best shown through action. So, while we pray for doors to open, be prepared to do the work. How are you equipping yourself? Are you developing the talents God has placed inside of you? Are you diligent in seeking to level up and learn new things so you can create additional streams of income? Remember, ‘Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands makes wealth’ - Proverbs 10:4,” she said.

Malibre said it takes money to carry out the work of God, and once the shift is made in how money is viewed and the necessary steps taken to manage it, improvements will be realised.

“God did say that He would withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly, so shift the mindset that living in lack is piety. Do what you can by developing the gifts God gave to you and educate yourself on good financial habits and trust God for the increase,” she said.