povertynoun1.The condition of being extremely poor: beggary, destitution,impecuniosity, impecuniousness, impoverishment, indigence, need,neediness, pennilessness, penuriousness, penury, privation, want. See rich/poor.2.The condition or fact of being deficient: defect, deficiency,deficit, inadequacy,insufficiency, lack, paucity, scantiness,scantness, scarceness, scarcity, shortage, shortcoming, shortfall,underage1.See excess/insufficiency/enough.my opinion of what poverty means to a Christian would be the 2nd definition...regarding "deficiency". as a Christian, we are constantly reminded of our deficiency and therefore our need for Christ. if we were not"poor" or "deficient", we would not need Him. so, for 2 Cor.8:2 i would think that it could mean that especially during a trial, no doubt a severe trial, we experience "extreme poverty" (meaning,extreme deficiency and therefore extreme need) as we realize our utter dependence on Christ. it would then make sense that our poverty might well up in rich generosity because we have truly experienced what it means to be "in need" of Christ and how He is so faithful and generous to provide for our every need~ it should cause us to be rich in generosity."Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extremepoverty welled up in rich generosity." II Corinthians 8:2
I think our responsibility is to honor Christ in all that we do. I don't think that poverty is more righteous than wealth, necessarily, or wealth more honorable than poverty. I think it's all in how we use our "resources" to honor Christ. Perhaps, in some instances, it is easier to honor Christ in poverty- in complete dependence upon Him- than in wealth. (Luke 12:15- Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.")Christ also says in Luke 12 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes." (22-23). I don't think that it is honoring to Christ to be consumed with "worry" about money (how we're going to pay the bills, eat, live…etc). I think what God desires from us is, again, dependence. Complete dependence upon Him is when we are the most worshipful. But, I think that there is a fine line between dependence upon Christ, and slothfulness. God didn't say that we could sit back and wait for Him to provide. Time and again He warned us about the detriment of that behavior. (Proverbs 6:6-11 "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep— So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.")Our purpose- the reason we were created- is to worship Christ. So, I guess we have to ask ourselves how our lifestyle and our actions line up with that ultimate purpose.
I think poverty has nothing to do with what you have, but where it came from. The question of whether someone is poor or not cannot be answered until the question of how they received their "things" is answered.