Do You Have a Poverty Mindset?
Is a poverty mindset holding you back? Have you been taught that money is evil? Rather than the truth, which is that the LOVE of money is evil? Money itself is just a measure of how much we are helping other people. How much value we are adding to the world.
I have struggled with that poverty mindset myself. I grew up believing rich people were bad people. And since I certainly didn’t want to become a bad person, even when I earned money–sometimes lots of it–I quickly gave it all away or lost it in unwise investments.
It took me many decades to discover the problem wasn’t “out there” somewhere. The problem was right between my ears. The enemy was my poverty mindset. (You can watch the short video I recorded on this subject, too.)
Why Is a Poverty Mindset So Destructive?
A poverty mindset is incredibly destructive because it puts us in the role of helpless victim. It tempts us to sit back as spectators to our own destiny. We believe everything that happens to us is the result of outside forces. We have no control.
I see this among Christians all the time. The bible commands us to be diligent and wise and promises that those traits lead inevitably to a prosperous life. The opposite of diligence and wisdom is folly and the life of the sluggard. If you think God has good things to say about the foolish, unwise person, you might want to re-read the Book of Proverbs.
But instead of embracing the principles of Proverbs–of hard work, discipline, sowing and reaping–we embrace the poverty mindset, which says, “The mess I’m in isn’t my fault, so I’m powerless to change it. I’ll just sit here watching TV, surfing the internet and chit chatting with my peeps. God is in control, so I’m sure He’ll figure everything out eventually and make my life better.”
One of my pet peeves is the way people love to “throw God under the bus.” Hey, I’ve done it myself. I neglected His principles, then when life turned out badly, I fell back on, “Well, God is in control, so He must have wanted me to gain 30 pounds and lose a fortune in real estate.”
No, I gained 30 pounds by consuming more calories than I burned. I lost money in real estate because I was foolish.
Let’s keep God on His Throne, where He belongs, ruling a universe that is governed by principles that are clearly spelled out for us in His Word.
It’s time to take responsibility. It’s time to admit our lives are where our own choices have taken us. Time to break free from “poor, poor, pitiful me.”
3 Signs You Have A Poverty Mindset
Clue #1: Blame
You blame the economy, you blame the government, you blame the stock market, you blame your employer (or your employees). If you’re in the direct sales industry, you blame your up-line or your down-line. You blame your parents. You blame your spouse, you blame your kids. You blame your genes. And the ever popular: it’s your thyroid’s fault.
It’s always something else or someone else. The problem is always anything or anyone else, but you. It’s not any of those things. It’s a Poverty Mindset. That’s what’s holding you back from God’s best.
Clue #2: Justify
Or you justify your situation by saying you don’t really care. You justify being broke by declaring yourself too spiritual for money. “Money isn’t important,” you say. But can you name one good thing that can be accomplished in this world without money? Not a single missionary can remain on the field without money. Not a single medical facility can operate without money. No church can keep it’s doors open without money. And the truth is, financial stress is the leading cause of divorce in America.
Stop justifying your lack of prosperity by declaring yourself too spiritual to abide by the clear principles of scripture:
Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man. Proverbs 6:10-11
Whoever disregards discipline comes to poverty and shame. Proverbs 13:18
All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty. Proverbs 28:19
God told Abraham: “I will surely make you prosper” Genesis 32:12
The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered Genesis 39:2
Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper. Deut. 5:33
The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground Deut. 28:11
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8
Well, you get the idea. I could go on listing verses. But the message is clear. Faith and diligence bring prosperity. Period.
By the way, if you are wondering, “What about people who live in poor countries?” Let me highly recommend The Book That Transforms Nations: The Power of the Bible to Change Any Country by Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With A Mission (YWAM). It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. God’s principles are true and they are true for every person and every nation on earth.
Let’s stop throwing God under the bus. If our lives are marked by poverty rather than prosperity, let’s accept responsibility to change the way we are living. Let’s break free of that poverty mindset and begin to prosper! Let’s press in for God’s best!
Clue #3: Complain
Complaining is the absolute worst possible thing you could do for your health. And I mean every aspect of your health: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, relational and yes, even financial.
Because there is a universal law that says, “What you focus on expands.” That’s why God commands us to focus on the positive (Phil. 4:8) . When you are complaining, what are you focusing on? What’s right with your life or what’s wrong with it? You are obviously focusing on what’s wrong with it and since what you focus on expands, you’ll keep getting more of what’s wrong.
I used to call myself a “weird experiences magnet.” Almost every week, it seemed, something bad would happen and I’d hear the words, “This has never happened before but….” You won’t be surprised to learn that I talked constantly about those weird experiences. Anyone who got near me heard an earful about the latest frustrating turn of events. And since no one wanted to be near me, I had to call people and inform them by phone. Which I did. All day.
I’m not into New Age mumbo jumbo, but after five decades on the planet, I have no doubt: there’s something to the Law of Attraction. Here’s how T. Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind puts it, “Have you ever noticed that people who complain a lot seem to have crappy lives? It’s like everything bad keeps happening to them. They say, “Of course, I complain, look how crappy my life is.” Now you can finally explain, “No, it’s BECAUSE you complain that you have a crappy life.”
What’s So Great About A Poverty Mindset?
We have to admit there is one great thing about a poverty mindset. We get to play the victim. And what do victims get? Attention! Is attention important? Absolutely, for many people it’s what they live for. But as Joyce Meyer often says, “You can be pitiful or you can be powerful, but you can’t be both.”
God wants us to be powerful spiritual warriors. And he wants us to prosper, not play the victim. “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” 3 John 1:2. That’s God’s best for your life. Why settle for less?
Are you ready to say goodbye to the Poverty Mindset? I’d love to hear about it!