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Voluntary Poverty

This is one of gift options on the spiritual gifts test i just took:

Voluntary Poverty: "The special ability that God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to renounce material comfort and luxury and adopt a personal lifestyle equivalent to those living at the poverty level in a given society in order to serve God more effectively."

This gift is a practical gift. Those with the spiritual gift of voluntary poverty will often choose to live among people who are considered poverty-stricken in a given area, and live at their level, although they have the means to live at a higher standard. Th primary motivation for this choice is to minister more effectively to the people through identification. Scriptures: Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-27; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:9.

Note: This gift is often associated with the gift of giving, however, notice that the motivation for this gift is for effective ministry through identification with a group of less-fortunate people, where those with the gift if giving are motivated by what their money can do towards God’s work.

I think this is interesting. If this is truly a spiritual gift, I think that this has interesting implications. "and live at their level..." not just living simply and having money in the bank for "back-up" and not just living in a certain place but having a lot of cool stuff, but living at the same level as those who don't have a lot in order to identify with the feelings and thoughts and needs of others. This is huge.


Isaac Johnson said...

Wow, very interesting and very huge! Interesting in thinking of this as a spiritual gift. Not sure if it is more of a spiritual gift or spiritual calling. I don't think this should be the case for everyone, because there are rich people in big houses who desperately need Jesus just as much if not more than those in the ghettos...and they need to see the gospel lived out in their neighborhood.

Ariah said...

Not sure what I think. I don't see anywhere in scriptures that the idea of "voluntary poverty" is a spiritual gift. If anything it's a mandate. Calling it a gift allows most of us to feel like it's someone else's gift but not ours.
I guess I'm just saying if anything, I see enough scriptural evidence that if this is a 'calling' or a 'gift' then it's for every Christian, not just some.

Tiffany said...

i dont see anything in scripture about it either as a "spiritual gift."