Giving to the Poor

 Start from zero

By Christopher Myers

I used to think that the poor meant those who had less than I did in terms of cash or material goods. For the past two years, I don’t think there were many souls who had less than me. For a while, I’ve been pretty much at the bottom of the barrel in terms of material wealth and cash flow. But what I haven’t been is poor in spirit! God’s presence has cheered me along and opened up dark tightly closed doorways that opened to renewal and joy!

There is an acute pain in not having things; both that we were used to having and that have been taken away or in desiring but not receiving. Add to this the need to eat, clothe our bodies and have shelter and being poor can really be a bummer in terms of getting by. Take it from me, I qualified for food stamps and a whole host of other assistance programs, but I chose to stay focused on Christ and his way of rejoicing in what was provided. Some would argue that food stamps are a provision and yes, they are that. 

But more, these dependency makers can kill the spirit. Often it is those who lack education and the positive influences around them who fall prey to an impoverished spirit. But have you ever considered the person driving next to you? What is happening with their spirit? Like the poverty stricken soul wrapped up in its need, so is the arrogant soul wrapped up in its want.

Giving to the poor is more than just dropping an offering in a box. Giving to the poor is praying for your neighbors needs as they look for a job. Giving to the poor is being kind and generous with those who visit St. Augustine looking for delight and refreshment in their lives. Giving to the poor begins by admitting that we too are poor without Christ’s abiding love and lavish provision. 

Now that I’ve tasted potatoes and onions in basically every combination ever imagined, it is my sworn obligation to live frugally, save and be forever grateful for each and every aspect of life that causes my spirit to be rich. Eating so meagerly would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago while my spirit cried out in agony and poverty at the finest tables in New York City.

Reading Proverbs 28 verse 27 earlier today I came across this verse which inspired today’s column. ‘ He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.’ I must ask: What do I have to give them and am I?

Christopher Myers is a designer/writer/forgiven sinner and has fellowshipped with believers around the world. Faith is his passion. Email him at

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