Transformation of the Poor and the Non-Poor

Post a Comment » Written on December 16th, 2009     
Filed under: General
“Shouldn’t we expect that those who receive will eventually become givers?” This was a comment made by a young leader in the Evangelical Covenant Church of Kenya in October when we were discussing principles of transformational community development.

We sometimes treat the poor as if they will always be poor, and will always need to be the receivers of our generosity.  There is often a kind of co-dependent relationship which sustains a poverty mentality among both poor and non-poor.  Many non-poor wish to maintain a relationship in which they are able to be providers for the poor in order to gain a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction.  Likewise some who are poor have a fatalistic view of their poverty and believe that they will always need to be dependent on the non-poor for their survival.

Jesus read the words of the prophet Isaiah in Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

The good news message to the poor that Jesus proclaimed in word and deed was a message of radical transformation.  The coming of the Kingdom of God means that things cannot and will not remain the same.  In the Kingdom of God both the poor and the non-poor are transformed.  Those who have been receivers only will also become givers.  Those who have been givers will recognize their own need for transformation and will also become receivers.

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