Improving One’s Economic Status

People may find themselves descending into poverty through no fault of their own or through their own fault. However a person may end up being poor, there are ways out of this terrible dilemma. First, a person must realize that they can defeat the curse of poverty. Second, those who have contact with the poor, must never increase their dependency on them except in the short term for most. Nonetheless, there are some who may be unable to take care of themselves, which gives an opportunity to help. For the rest there exists an opportunity to climb out of the pit of poverty.

Knowledge and Learning,

A torrent of information exists demonstrating how poor people pull themselves out of poverty by the hard work of learning: learning how to learn, learning what to learn, learning how to use what was learned, and practicing the knowledge learned. Some states motivated the poor to get a job by threatening to remove them from welfare. Those in charge of the program learned an amazing fact; the poor had no knowledge or skill to do any kind of work. They had to be taught when and how to get up in the morning and prepare themselves for the day’s work such as washing, dressing and eating breakfast. The manager of the program was astounded that the poor knew nothing about getting to work, much less doing a job. Eventually the poor learned and finally were able to keep a job.

Doing a simple job requiring little or no skill does not solve the problem. A person must learn about the job they are doing. For example, a would-be mechanic would need to know more than just picking up a wrench or a screwdriver. They would need to learn how to fix an automobile, which becomes increasingly complicated as cars use need computers to a greater extent to run them. Obviously, further and continual education is necessary to keep and progress in the job market. Unfortunately, the older a person gets the harder it becomes to gain basic education much less higher education. Parents must be educated in developing an interest in knowledge in their offspring. The traditional family, which encourages education, seems to be practiced less, and those youths outside it have trouble being motivated to learn, which is very harmful to most children.

Psa. 92:6 A stupid person does no fault know,
a fool does not understand this:

Psa. 49:10 For he sees that even wise men die;
The stupid and the senseless alike perish
And leave their wealth to others.

Prov. 5:12 And you say, “How I have hated instruction!
And my heart spurned reproof!
Prov. 5:13 “I have not listened to the voice of my teachers,
Nor inclined my ear to my instructors!

Prov. 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.

Prov. 15:14 The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on folly.

Prov. 18:15 The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge,
And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

Prov. 24:5 A wise man is strong,
And a man of knowledge increases power.

Eph. 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

Prov. 2:10 For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Prov. 2:11 Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,

Psa. 119:66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Your commandments.

Prov. 1:22 “How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?

Discipline and Training

Discipline and training implements whatever learning and knowledge a person has. We usually need someone to observe our use of knowledge because it is difficult for us to appraise our actions without bias and objectively.

A person may be taught all about music, scales and whole and half note, for example, but once a person starts playing an instrument, he needs someone to discipline and training him. The same is true in sports; for example, a person learning to hit a baseball cannot see how he swings. To perfectly his mechanics, he needs a skilled baseball professional to train him. Even experienced actors still need a director to discipline and train them in his art. Of course, training seems like an obvious way to learn, but many people refuse to be criticized, a term they use instead a training, because of whatever reason. Often people in positions of authority refused to listen to an “underling” because he is too important to listen to those of lesser position. Without the insight of objective observers, no one can truly reach their potential.

Prov. 22:29 Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

Prov. 13:18 Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline,
But he who regards reproof will be honored.

Prov. 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
But he who hates reproof is stupid.

Prov. 15:32 He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.

rDswøm musar [416b]; from 3256; discipline, chastening, correction

3256. rAsÎy yasar [415d]; a prim. root; to discipline, chasten, admonish:

jAkÎy yakach [406d]; a prim. root; to decide, adjudge, prove:

Job 5:17 “Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves,
So do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.

Take Counsel and Reproof

Very few succeed in their endeavors without seeking counsel from those who know the circumstances very well. Indeed, the more people a person seeks counsel from would enable him to make a proper decision or take the appropriate action. The question then becomes:

8433b. tAjAkwø;t tokachath [407b]; from 3198; argument, reproof:

Prov. 1:30 “They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.

6098. hDxEo etsah [420a]; from 3289; counsel, advice:

Prov. 15:32 He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.

Prov. 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.

Whose Counsel?

It would hardly be appropriate to ask a science teacher something about a historic philosopher; he may know by chance, but it is not really his field. In the same way, asking counsel from someone who is biased or has a vested interest in that particular matter will give skewed advice. For example, it would hardly be appropriate to ask a pagan about verses concerning the existence of God in the Bible. Indeed, the Bible is the best source of counsel existent in the world.

Is. 36:5 “I say, ‘Your counsel and strength for the war are only empty words.’ Now on whom do you rely, that you have rebelled against me?

Prov. 19:21 Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the LORD will stand.

Stay Calm

An obvious conclusion concerning obtaining good counsel is: it is far better to take one’s time in gaining knowledge, discipline and counsel than rushing into something. When a decision has to be made, many emotions rush into the forefront; probably the largest is fear. Furthermore, a prominent aspect of fear is fear to change. As we observe the nature of the earth and its climate, we note the ever-changing aspects of nature. A river may change course and wipe out a whole industry; the industry may have to be relocated or a person may have to learn a new occupation. Economies always have their ups and downs, and changing technologies terminate one field and cause a new one. Mechanizing agriculture left 75% of the working population, farmers, without jobs. Each had to find and learn a new way to make a living. Change is inevitable and we must not let it frighten us into making rash decisions.

Is. 7:4 and say to him, ‘Take care and be calm, have no fear and do not be fainthearted because of these two stubs of smoldering firebrands, on account of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah.

Acts 19:36 “So, since these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash.

Ex. 14:13 But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.
Ex. 14:14 “The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent.”

Is. 35:4 Say to those with anxious heart,
“Take courage, fear not.
Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you.”

Is. 51:12 “I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies
And of the son of man who is made like grass,
Is. 51:13 That you have forgotten the LORD your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth,
That you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor,
As he makes ready to destroy?
But where is the fury of the oppressor?

1Th. 4:11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you,

Search for Opportunities

To say that people need education, discipline, correction, counsel and a level head, does not mean everything will just fall into place. In every case, one needs to struggle to seek the things necessary to bring one out of poverty. Just googling a topic will not give a person all the answers. It takes time and effort.

Prov. 2:4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;

Prov. 23:23 Buy truth, and do not sell it,
Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.

Col. 4:5 ¶ Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.

Prov. 1:24 “Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
Prov. 1:25 And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
Prov. 1:26 I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
Prov. 1:27 When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
Prov. 1:28 “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Prov. 1:29 Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the LORD.
Prov. 1:30 “They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
Prov. 1:31 “So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
Prov. 1:32 “For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
Prov. 1:33 “But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.” aid attention;

Jer. 8:20 “Harvest is past, summer is ended,
And we are not saved.”

Is. 65:12 I will destine you for the sword,
And all of you will bow down to the slaughter.
Because I called, but you did not answer;
I spoke, but you did not hear.
And you did evil in My sight
And chose that in which I did not delight.”

Work Hard

The Commandments give the answer to all questions and problems. God blesses all who show their love to Him by keeping His Laws. Apart from the first four Commandments about how to worship God – from having no idols to keeping His Holy Sabbath – God tells how He created man to interact with nature and other people. The first thing people must do is labor for six days and rest for one, not rest for six days and labor for one.

This fourth Commandment, the penultimate Commandment, bring together our relation with God, nature and people. By resting on His Holy Sabbath, not the man made Sunday, people acknowledge God as their Creator and life giver. By working hard six days, people sustain themselves without being a burden to others and have enough to help the truly needy. By resting on the Sabbath day each week, the seventh year sabbatical and the fiftieth year sabbatical, people give the earth time to re-nourish, heal and produce greater yields. This Commandment not only transitions the first four to the last six but also acts as foundation for all the Commandments.

By working hard, a person will glean the respect of their children, keep the family strong, never let greed incite murder, necessitate or motivate stealing, lie to hide stealing and murder or covet what others have. Whatever the question, hard work is usually the answer, which is not to neglect education, discipline, training, counsel and keeping calm.

Ex. 20:9 “Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

Prov. 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the slack hand will be put to forced labor.

Prov. 12:27 A lazy man does not roast his prey,
But the precious possession of a man is diligence.

Prov. 14:23 In all labor there is profit,
But mere talk leads only to poverty.

Prov. 16:26 A worker’s appetite works for him,
For his hunger urges him on.

2Th. 3:12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.

2Th. 3:10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.
2Th. 3:11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.
2Th. 3:12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.

1Tim. 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

2Th. 3:8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you;

Count the Cost

The cost include more than monetary considerations; one must consider the cost as far as life style, physical abilities, education, skills and talents. For getting money can usually be facilitated if one needs it if the project seems worthwhile and has potential remuneration. Using all the points above, one must count the cost from every angle imaginable. Interestingly, counting the cost may involve direct research by encountering those involved in similar projects and ancillary businesses. To make counting the cost even more interesting, one needs to understand the sense of the potential customer, the state of the economy and how it may affect and change the direction of technology, which may be hard to ascertain because one cannot know what is going on in someone’s garage.

Luke 14:28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

Prov. 24:27 Prepare your work outside
And make it ready for yourself in the field;
Afterwards, then, build your house.

Gen. 12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram,
“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
Gen. 12:2 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
Gen. 12:3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Few need to be poor. However, seeking wealth beyond all else will not solve the problem of poverty. Walking in God’s way will always produce a positive effect in the present.

Amen

Gil Kovacs, Pastor

Sabbath Christian Church