Is it Better to be Poor?

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Is it better to be poor?

Welcome to Three-Peat Tuesday!

Each weekly blog will contain three P’s: Pillar, Principle and Practical, all geared towards nourishing you on your personal and spiritual growth journey.

Pillar: Poverty or Perversity

“Better the poor walking in integrity than one perverse of speech who is a fool.”-Proverbs 19:1

Principle: Poor is Better

Perhaps this pandemic period is the best time to talk about poverty since the global economy has taken such a hit. Could we possibly be better off poor than rich? Such a target is countercultural but please hear me out on this one.

In a world that exalts materialism and commercialism, an intentional pursuit of less, on its face, seems odd. Yet, the wisdom of the ancients promotes welcoming poverty for the sake something more valuable.

The question begs: when is poverty to be embraced? Here’s the answer: we should open our arms to this way of life if it means cultivating inner integrity. Whenever we see that “better/than” formula in wisdom writings, it is prudent to take note.

The options before us, then, are integrity or perversity. The Proverb above zeroes in on the folly of having a perverse tongue. That could be displayed in slander, obscenity, coarse joking, gossip or dishonesty, all of which have the capacity to make us wealthier by pulling others down and promoting our own interests.

You may think, “Surely not me!” Let me ask you this: when last did you tell a “half-truth” in order to protect your image or feed your pride? Have you recently spoken negatively about someone behind their backs? What about participating in inappropriate joking at the office? Do you exaggerate when retelling a story?

These are the seeds of perversity that slowly erode the integrity of our character. Remain vigilant about what you say and also what you listen to. Never forget that who you are becoming is of greater worth than what you own.

Practical: Poor in Money, Rich in Character

Choose daily honesty. This is where true riches are found.  

If you were inspired by this blog, please consider sharing it with one other person today. To learn more about these and other related themes that promote the cultivation of an integrated inner self, read UNBEATABLE! which is now available on Amazon in print and as an e-book.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Allan+Cunningham

    J Tyrone,

    Reflection is so important; it is so easy to say I am not like this, one of perverse speech, as it is wrong/ungodly because I don’t want it to be true.

    The truth is the truth, although I hate to admit it, I have had perverse speech (half-truth – exaggerated), and your warning is apt to be vigilant to be a person of integrity.

    I must admit I need the cure of repentance for sin and mercy from my doctor – Jesus. Luke 5: 31.

    Thank you for this post.

    1. J. Tyrone Marcus

      I appreciate your transparent response, Allan. Thank you for pursuing excellence in speech.

  2. Michelle Marcus

    I am guilty here. So many wrongs to talk about and I am very vocal at times directly but more times I voice to whom it doesn’t concern because I am garnering support for my view or get the other person to see what I see about the person I am not happy with. Thank you.

    1. J. Tyrone Marcus

      Thank you Michelle for your honesty. The area of integrity in our language is an upward call that is worth the effort.

  3. Ronke+Cunningham

    How so true this is Tyrone. Perverse speech! That is so easy to do without even realizing it. Not only have I slandered or cast a slur, I have also said hurtful things to others to make me feel better about myself, in the guise of speaking the truth. These are subtle ways that I allow the enemy to erode the integrity of my character. Thanks for the reminder that who I am becoming is of greater worth. May God help us all.

  4. J. Tyrone Marcus

    Indeed, Ronke. Only by divine grace can we all see sustainable growth in our integrity. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Caroline

    That’s truly a hard choice who in their right minds would choose to be poor!
    Yet I am guilty as charged of perversity of the half truths of the exaggerated story. Ouch!
    I realize how much more vigilant I need to be to stay on the course of excellence.
    A good reality check

  6. J. Tyrone Marcus

    Thanks for being so real, Caroline. Wholesome speech is an upward call, but as John Maxwell often says: “Everything worthwhile in life is uphill!”

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