How do we make the transition from poverty to provision and break the power of the poverty spirit over us? Let’s take a quick look at 2 Corinthians 8, where Paul addresses the subject of money. He sets the stage for his discussion by making the following statement about Christ, who “though He was rich, yet for your sakes became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (verse 9). If everything we lost in Adam is restored in Christ, a proper attitude toward money and material things should should be part of this.
This statement of Paul’s establishes a truth critical to the breaking of the poverty spirit. And that truth is this: Fallen men may be takers, but God is a giver. God is a giver because He has no needs. He lives in an infinite abundance and loves nothing more than to give generously. We became rich because of what Christ gave to us.
Put another way, whatever we have is a gift from God. As Christians, we often shy away from talking about money, yet Paul had no such sensitivity. In fact, he uses a statement about what Christ gave up spiritually as an introduction to teaching the Corinthians how to give material things up. If we do not teach believers how to handle money and material wealth, they will learn from the world instead of the Word.
All of us understand something about the riches of Christ. We understand that Christ came into the brokenness of our lives to heal us and save us and give us a whole new life. This new life does not belong to us; it is a gift of God and is to be lived for His glory and returned to Him when we meet Him face to face. But Paul is actually addressing financial issues in this chapter! And so we see that these truths, although they in the first place apply to eternal, spiritual realities, also apply to the earthly, material realm. What is the lesson? If God is a giver, then we are to follow in His footsteps. To become givers rather than takers — to learn to give away rather than to accumulate — which in the eyes of the world is foolishness — is actually the only way for us to break the power of poverty and enter into the provision of God.