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Do People Have to Be Poor in Order to Be Holy?

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It has been taught for many years that holiness and poverty go hand in hand. The apostle Paul said, "I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound." Then he added, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" ( ).

You can be just as holy when you are financially comfortable as you can be when you are poor. Perhaps it is easier to cry out to God for help when you are in need. But if Christians sanctify God in their hearts ahead of material concern, they should be able to live above their circumstances whether that includes prosperity or poverty.

Poverty is a curse, not a blessing. It is certainly not equated with righteousness. It comes sometimes because of the horrors of war, sometimes because of unjust or unwise government, sometimes because of oppression by the greedy and the ruthless, sometimes because of disobedience to God's commandments, and sometimes because of lack of knowledge of God's principles of blessing. Sometimes a transition from one of God's destinations to another brings temporary poverty. Sometimes temporary poverty follows a satanic attack or a serious and unexplainable calamity. Whatever its cause, poverty is not equated with holiness.

Some voluntarily take a vow of poverty so that they can give themselves totally to God. In that situation, poverty becomes a blessing for those people, because they have given up material riches for God. However, simply being poor is not a sign of holiness. Of course, neither is being wealthy. Godly people are those who are content wherever God has placed them and are serving Him to the best of their abilities, irrespective of material circumstances.

Excerpt taken from Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions, Copyright 1984 by Pat Robertson. 

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About The Author

Pat Roberstson Headshot

Dr. Robertson served as the founder and chairman of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. (CBN); co-founder, chancellor, and chief executive officer of Regent University; founder of Operation Blessing Relief and Development Corporation (OB); founder and president of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ); co-founder and chairman of International Family Entertainment, Inc.; and a leading force behind several other influential organizations and broadcast entities. His greatest treasure in life was knowing Jesus Christ and having the privilege of proclaiming Him and His power to others