Poor and poverty Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa, Canada
With all due respect to the Methodist Church deputy secretary general, Reverend Ili Vunisuwai. I tend to disagree with his statement that ‘being poor built a better relationship with God is totally false’.
From a Christian perspective, a true Christian who is fully surrendered to Christ will choose to live a poor life like Jesus, putting God first, others second and self, last. The person will have just enough to live on and will bless the less fortunate with all the access blessings that flows his way. My pocket dictionary defines poor as having little money or means, while poverty means lack of money and resources.
The definition for both words are similar, but we today we tend to regard a person or family who struggles to put food on the table to be in poverty.
Fijians, especially those who have land, iQoliqoli and other natural resources, may be classed as poor because there is hardly any money in their bank accounts, but they are certainly not living in poverty.
Reverend Vunisuwai is totally correct when he said God was the source of everything and there was no excuse for any iTaukei to be living in poverty.
We see all the different provinces in Fiji wisely using their resources to benefit all the members of the province and Government is helping out in its bid to eradicate poverty in Fiji. When Christians become rich and only think of themselves, then they need to be worried because Christ is not number one in their lives and they would be in danger of missing eternity, if they do not get right with God.
Christians have the ability to eradicate poverty in Fiji if we all act as sons and daughters of the Kingdom of God and do what His true followers will do. Matthew 25:34-40, (New Living Translation) says:
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’