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You Don’t Have To Be Broke To Be Poor

By: trish crossley

It took a moment for my eyes to adjust after entering her home. I listened intently for her voice to guide me as I felt my way along the cool mud wall of her home in Kenya. Her kind words, although foreign to me, told me everything I needed to hear — I was welcome.

Sitting here remembering Mama Jemiha, her gracious smile that lit the room, the joy I felt in her presence, I’m still dumbfounded I got to meet her.

This was when I learned the difference between broke and poor. With my senses keenly awakened, I could see, taste and smell the difference as if being fed chicken and beef on separate platters.

Personal experiences had already taught me that you could be broke without being broken. Broke is completely running out of money and options. You can break at that point or you can decide not to be broken.

A poverty mindset destroys futures before they even have a chance. Its destruction can be passed from generation to generation.

Poor is a term often used to describe people who lack the basic necessities of life. But, being poor is a mentality that none of us can afford. A poverty mindset destroys futures before they even have a chance. Its destruction can be passed from generation to generation.

A poor mouth says: “Why do I even try? I’ll NEVER get ahead! Our family will always be poor. I give up!”

Broke and poor are both used to describe different extremes of temporary financial situations, whereas being poor can describe both a mindset and an eternal condition.

When poor is used in the Bible, it most often describes an economic condition. However, Jesus used the word poor differently when He spoke to His disciples at the Mount of Beatitudes. He chose these first words for what we now know as the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

Being poor in spirit doesn’t mean we give up. It‘s a condition of our heart to trust Jesus as our provider, stay humble and put our faith in Him.

Jesus’ definition of poor doesn’t take into consideration any economic condition, but only the spiritual reality. This applies to the rich and the poor, those who are broke and those who are broken. Being poor in spirit doesn’t mean we give up. It‘s a condition of our heart to trust Jesus as our provider, stay humble and put our faith in Him.

As I left Mama Jemiha, I turned around to see her briskly shaking out her front mat then place it back onto the dirt ground. She looked up at me, gave me a final smile and began waving as she simultaneously said goodbye and shooed a donkey away from nibbling on the mud straw mixture of her home’s exterior.

By American standards, we’d consider Mama Jemiha poor economically. But she’s not broke, nor is she broken. She uses her abilities to courageously pursue opportunities.

No, she’s not broke or broken. Mama Jemiha is blessed with a life filled by her love for Jesus and love for others.

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