Now that is a strange topic when these articles are supposed to be about kingdom solutions for those in mental distress. Be patient though you will soon see that it makes a great deal of sense.
How do we make sense of this money and wealth thing?
I read one book recently that suggested that there were five main things that were destroying people all over the world i.e. ignorance, poverty, war, disease, and famine. I cannot imagine anyone disagreeing with that very much.
If that is the case why do so many people, especially those brought up with a Christian mindset, have a poverty mentality. In other words, they so fear having money that they believe that it is better not to have money. This puzzles me.
How do you do anything without money?
Lets look at my day so far. These are just some of the things I have been able to do because I had the money to buy what I needed to do them.
- use a computer
- read a book
- wear clean clothes
- eat and drink
- go to the toilet and wash my hands afterwards
If you are wondering about the last one. Money was necessary to buy a home that had a bathroom and pay for the water and pay for the towel and pay for the toilet cleaner and pay for the soap.
You see I just do not know how to live without using money
I suppose I could start collecting rainwater and use that for cooking, cleaning, washing and sanitation. But wouldn’t I need some kind of collection system and how can I set that up without spending money?
I suppose I could grow all my own food. Help, I would need the land, the seeds the tools and how do I get those without money. There again I would also need to learn a few skills if I was not going to starve.
I suppose I could have a field to keep sheep and then use their fleece to spin yarn that was then woven into cloth that I could then use to make my own clothes. Put it that way, it sounds so much quicker and easier to go out and buy them.
OK it sounds ridiculous but that is what many poor people end up doing, or at least try to do. Erm, those are the people who we say need a lot of help to improve their lives.
See why I am puzzled
We say not having money is good on the one hand and then say that money will rescue people from all sorts of issues related to poverty. With more money they and their helpers could buy seeds and tools. This would help them grow more food and therefore feed themselves more easily. With more money their helpers could help drill a well to improve the quality of the water they can use. Why rescue people from something that is supposed to be good for them?
It gets worse
Those who say we must do something to stop people dying of disease because they do not have access to safe clean water ask others for money to help do it. Those that they ask say sorry we have no money to spare we need all that we have to buy the things our families need.
Yes I know it makes quite a difference if you buy caviare and champagne rather than bread and water. There is a balance in the old idea of living simply so that others can simply live, that some of us need to find.
Not everyone is willing to live on a pauper’s diet and live in little more than a pauper’s home like John Wesley did. No wonder by the end of his life he was giving away 90% of his income. This was one of his ideas this followers really struggled to follow.
Is poverty a weapon?
Thinking about it this way seemed to make more sense. Could poverty be a weapon used against those wanted to help others?
Think about it. If people were taught that not having money was a good thing then one of two things could happen.
- They would stop doing the things that were necessary so that more money came their way.
- If they did have any money they would give it away so they were not damaged by it.
What would happen if the first of those things became the normal way of life? There would be no need to protect themselves from money as they just would not have any.
Is that a protective device that goes too far?
Job done! Or is it? Without money coming in how can it flow out to help others. Not having the money to buy what they need to help people is a serious restriction on those who want to help others.
Let me see if I have got this right. It is not a good idea to do the things that are necessary for us to increase our income because having money causes so many problems. Therefore we do not have the money to give away to others. Because those others do not have the money they end up struggling to do the charitable works that they want to relieve the suffering of others.
How do you stop people doing charitable works? You make it so much harder for others to support them financially. You can stop this flow of money in a number of ways. One obvious one that many people think of if is that people struggle to give away what they do receive. One less obvious one is that if you discourage people from doing things that help them receive more, then they will have less to give.
Think of it like that and poverty could unintentionally become a destructive weapon even though those promoting it mean well.
How is this related to developing Kingdom solutions for those in mental distress?
There are times when the solution to a problem cannot be pursued because of the lack of money. The underlying issue to that is the restriction in the way that money flows around the community that wanted to put this solution into action.
It is also important because money problems can lead to people finding themselves in mental distress. Resolve the issues relating to the restriction of the flow of money in their lives and you will dissolve the root cause of their mental distress. There again, mental distress and money can be a bit of a chicken and egg situation as it is hard to work out which one came first. Which ever way round it is, working towards dealing with the money issues will help relieve the mental distress.
What is Lily’s Place doing about this?
One thing is a project called Financing Kingdom Work. As the name suggests it is an exploration of how to finance Kingdom solutions. Go here to find out more.