Damaris Zehner: Should Christians Covet Poverty?

Today let me direct your attention to a post by Damaris Zehner over at internetmonk.com (formerly the blog of Michael Spencer) in which she asks “Should Christians covet poverty?

Many American Christians hold a romanticized view of poverty as something which of necessity draws us closer to God.  This is mainly a reaction against our materialistic culture and what many see as the pernicious influence of materialism in distracting us from the things of God.

In this post Damaris Zehner critiques our romanticized view of poverty, noting that in many instances poverty is a very undesirable thing and has a very corrosive effect on spiritual growth.

Instead, the thing to desire is gratitude.  This is the difference between poor people who are exceedingly generous with the little they have and those who allow their poverty to become an excuse for unceasing dependence which corrodes their relationships with others.

The question posed in the title of this post is a trick question.  When rich Christians covet poverty, as if they believe that poverty would help them to grow spiritually in ways they are unable to as rich Christians, they betray a lack of contentment and a lack of gratitude for what they have.  This does not display a right relationship with God or an understanding of His providence for us.