Breaking the Poverty Spirit, David Hino, June 22, 2012
The spirit of poverty is more than a lack of money. People with wealth can have the spirit of poverty. I have seen poor people who have a wealthy mindset and wealthy who have a poverty spirit. People who are never satisfied and hoard demonstrate a poverty spirit. A poverty spirit says, “I can’t” and a wealthy spirit says, “God can.” A poverty spirit feels weak, and a wealthy spirit feels strong. Revelations 2:9, says we can be in physical poverty yet still be rich.
I have gained much understanding about the poverty spirit from A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne; Culture Of Honor by Danny Silk and Generational curses from Paul Cox.
Payne has a number examples of people living in a poverty mindset, a middle class mindset and wealthy mindset. One example is looking at food, a poverty mindset derives value in the “quantity” of food. A middle class mindset wants “quality” food. People with a wealthy mindset want food with a beautiful presentation. Payne’s study has implications into the education system. Children with high intelligence but with a poverty mindset will continue to have poor grades. Children have to be taught to move from a poverty mindset to a middle class mindset and finally to a wealthy mindset in order to improve their grades.
When looking for a church, a poverty mindset looks for any church to attend. A middle class mindset looks for the “best” church which meets one’s needs. A wealthy mindset looks for God’s presence in the church and the “best” is not the issue.
When Jesus died on the cross, a poverty spirit says we are worthless before God. A middle class mindset works to become worthy. A wealthy mindset says, “we are valuable to God.”
When looking at God, a poverty spirit says, “sinner.” A middle class spirit says, “servant.” A wealthy spirit says, “son.”
When dealing with pain, a poverty spirit wants to escape in silence or explode in anger, a middle class spirit works to get out of pain and a wealthy spirit stays the course.
When dealing with material goods, a poverty spirit hoards, a middle class spirit lives to shop, a wealthy spirit lives to give.
When understanding time, a poverty spirit lives in the past, and survives one day at a time. A middle class spirit lives in the present. A wealthy spirit lives for eternity, make history and blesses the next generation.
When praying, a poverty spirit prays to survive, a middle class spirit prays to succeed and a wealthy spirit prays to bless.
When having a worldview, a poverty spirit thinks their local world is the center of the world. A middle class spirit thinks nationally. A wealthy mindset thinks internationally. (adapted from Payne)
When believing in the supernatural acts of God, a poverty spirit says, “Not,” a middle class spirit says, “Might,” and a wealthy spirit says, “Why not!”
When God spoke to Israel as they moved across the river Jordan, He said, “This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” I believe that one of the “reproaches of Egypt” was the spirit of poverty that they were delivered from.
The reasons for being in a poverty spirit is complex: cultural, family upbringing, generational, and/or emotional woundedness. There are no easy steps to move from the spirit of poverty to the wealthy spirit. For the children of Israel, it was 40 years of wandering in the desert to rid themselves of this mindset. God wants us to live in the spirit of wealth. May you uncover some of the lies that the enemy has been using to hold you back and may you will move forward into the truths of God. Developing a wealthy spirit will allow you to grow into the person God created you to be.