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Who Are the Poor?

Jesus said, “For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.”  So, who are the poor? And, how poor is poor?

Poor Americans are those who struggle to make ends meet, whether they’re trying to pay for necessities like food and housing, or comforts like a TV and car.

The Pew Research Center says poor Americans earn an average of eleven dollars per day. That doesn’t seem like much in America, but even those who are poor here make more than seventy-percent of all the people in the world.

So how poor is poor?

Globally, you’re considered to be ‘low-income’ if you make between two and ten dollars a day, and ‘poor’ if you live on less than two dollars a day.

Those considered ‘poor’ in America have a lifestyle – and opportunities – far different from the rest of the world. According to  The World Bank, the global poor “often live in fragile contexts and remote areas. Access to good schools, healthcare, electricity, safe water and other critical services remains elusive for many people.” In other words, they live daily on the edge of survival. In my travels, I have witnessed this first hand. It is heartbreaking.

Yes, the poor will always be with us, and part of our calling as Christians is to serve them with compassion and share out of our abundance as directed by the Holy Spirit.

The first step to take is to develop a habit of giving. When you become a generous giver, not only are you helping others, but your financial priorities are put in the right order. If you’re not in the habit of giving generously right now, download the free Money Map. It’s a simple guide that will keep you on the right track. Find it for free at