Chapter 9 : Poverty and Wealth

The phenomenon of poverty remains a reality that cannot be wished away. Why are some people rich; while others languish in poverty––even in societies far advanced in technology? The meaning of wealth from a worldview is different from God’s viewpoint.

The dictionary defines wealth as the acquisition of property, large amounts of money and any other valuable possessions. However, in a Christian context, wealth refers to an individual’s ability to address other people’s problems.

The principles of the New Civilization, while appearing as not applicable in this world, can indeed be applied and benefit those committed to altruism. The degree to which one applies the New Civilization principles determines the reality of wealth.

From a New Civilization’s perspective, those with hordes of money and possessions, but without compassion and generosity, portray poverty––even though considered rich from a worldly perspective. They carry similar anxieties as poor people. No matter how much they own, they live in a state of wanting more. Consider the following scenario:

Three men desire to travel to Bulawayo from Harare but fail to do so, for lack of funds. The first one fails to raise the $20 note needed to travel by public transport. The second cancels his trip, having failed to raise $60 for fuel to travel by car. The third also cancelled his trip after failing to raise $200 for an aeroplane ticket. The three become similarly categorized as having failed to travel to Bulawayo, due to poverty. This implies that poverty is relative to circumstances.

Wealth starts with the right mindset. Christ stated that a poor widow had given more than everyone else (Luke 21:1-4). In the eyes of common men, the widow was considered poor. But Christ said she had given more. She willingly gave a small amount that represented all she had.

Our self-centred civilization measures wealth according to the accumulation of money and material possessions. The ancient Pharaohs even believed that they could take their wealth with them into the afterlife.

Possessions carry power, associated with being envied by others. Could Christ have implied the accumulation of wealth, when stating that with faith as little as a mustard seed, nothing could be impossible? (Matt. 17:20).

The answer cannot be in the affirmative. Jesus was never obsessed with acquiring material possessions during His entire ministry. He left no semblance of material wealth. But today no one can deny that Jesus’ wealth remains dominant.

The physical universe carries unchangeable laws; the cause of poverty is one of them. Just as the cause of prosperity is another. Poverty is a condition of constant desire to be respected (self-centeredness). This is triggered by the fear of being poor. But, anything feared carries the capacity to eventually overwhelm the person concerned.

Wealth, by God’s standard, is sustained in the capacity to give, more than receiving from others. A giver does not necessarily always expect to receive. Successful business enterprises are those giving more than receiving. They produce magnificent wealth through customized patronage. Compare such behaviour with short-changing clients to maximize profits.

Those embracing good customer care indeed aim at maximizing profits. But the principle is derived from the condition of altruism, as was practised by Jesus. Therefore, the degree to which altruism is applied determines the level of wealth in that organization.

Making money is possible, especially when providing services to those unable to repay. Without charging anything, an activity that benefits people is more profitable than any other business, in this world. Jesus Christ started a business without financial investment. The impact of that business cannot be matched with any other business enterprise in this world.

That business continues to thrive, even though the charlatans invaded it, along the way. Christianity has proved to be a business that can never fail. One of the laws of the universe is that for one to receive one has to be willing to give generously.

Other than Jesus’ story, there are stories like that of Florence Nightingale, in the history books. Her name remains luminary in the medical profession. Her fame is not associated with the money that she received, but the service that she provided. I suppose many names of such people of nobility are engraved on tablets of stone.

People are generally willing to exchange for whatever benefits them. The law of exchange shows that those giving more receive more, including respect and adulation. This is contrary to the assumption that wealth implies cutting costs, hard work, and God’s providence––or some magical ideas, without exchange consideration.

The more one gives the more one ultimately reaps, abundantly. In receiving, the person focuses more on consumption without sustaining whatever is consumed. It is the principle of giving that makes a person’s existence in this life relevant, not the other way around.

The diabolical lie of all ages is that one becomes rich by constantly focusing on receiving, without giving anything. A poor person extends the bowl to attract mercy, without striving to solve problems––yet desiring to be respected. However, the condition of poverty repels others from putting dignity on such a person.

A rich person becomes rich by addressing other people’s problems––thereby, automatically attracting respect. Any respect that is attained by generous givers is what describes wealthy people. The person is as wealthy as other people who benefit from his services.

Workable solutions are formulated without first worrying about money––an effect after successfully benefiting people. Such is the law of wealth that anyone can apply, reaping benefits without necessarily having to belong to any particular religion or church denomination.

Any normal business establishment exists only as it fulfils clients’ requirements. The reason for any business failure is the inability to fulfil clients’ requirements. One cannot expect to receive money, before providing benefits to the clients.

It is not within the scope of this book to engage in detail, about issues of success or failure in entrepreneurship. But it suffices to mention that the ability to address clients’ needs rules the crest among other prerequisites. People’s needs may not always necessitate hard work.

Some people may be craving to be served with charm, and humour or simply receiving words of encouragement. The underlying factor is being gifted with the skill to do whatever is appreciated by others. Hard-working without identifying with one’s talent may be futile.

The ability to serve other people requires talent, coupled with effective communication, including zest and passion to fulfil their needs. Those desperately looking for money, die without ever coming to grips with money. Yet those engrossed in addressing other people’s problems, discover that money looks for them, even at their deathbeds.

Money, described as the medium of exchange in the form of coins and banknotes, is most convenient in exchanging commodities of value. With money, one is privileged over those without it. The challenge is on how to obtain money––also described as an idea backed by confidence. Exuding confidence in what one does attracts admiration from others.

The person’s talent may entail handling sewage menace in a particular community. This is just as pursuing sporting activities, artworks, or any engagement considered admirable to the public, can provide lucrative wealth to an individual. The consideration of religion or high education is immaterial, as long as able to provide admirable service to others.

With money––obtained through providing service––one has access to anything desired in this life. But this is different from the unethical businesses that do not attract dignity.

Many people appear wealthy, to ordinary people, yet how such wealth is obtained can be degrading. Such people may lead blissful lifestyles, influencing others to follow suit, but causing devastating consequences, resulting from pursuing such evil activities.

The law of cause and effect insists that one cannot reap the opposite of what is sown. Harmful practices––as not enhancing people’s survival––lead to undesirable effects––which is the opposite of value addition. Favourable results cannot come from a bad source, as lemon trees cannot produce mangoes.

Acquisition of wealth through theft or other unethical means can be a fast track towards poverty. Dubiously acquired wealth is delusional, whether one is religious or not. Such wealth is like building a house without a foundation, potentially losing more than what is invested.

Philanthropy causes poverty in third-world countries, yet maintains the dignity of the Philanthropists. Another way of impoverishing a nation is to keep it in a condition of receiving without giving anything. Naturally, those beneficiaries assume that remaining in a condition of being recipients. There is nothing in this world that is received for free, that sustains wealth.

The inheritance of wealth from rich parents exposes heirs towards catastrophic impoverishment; as long as the original idea, leading to such wealth is not grasped. Children ought to inherit an idea––rather than wealth. There is no advantage in exposing progenies to vicious fights over the inheritance of tangible assets (Luke 12:13-15).

Accessing a bank loan worsens a person’s poverty status. Only on rare occasions do people become richer after accessing loans from banks. Such few instances comprise those with workable programs, promising value-addition. The purpose of the loan should constitute clarity on how other people benefit, where the recipient of the bank loan, works harder than ever before.

Any workable idea should constitute people’s benefits, empowering them to also become productive. The idea––though concluded by the originator––could be sold to those with the ability to execute––making wealth broadly achievable. Others get impoverished by gambling, assuming instant riches would be beckoning; yet leading to abject poverty.

Contrary to common beliefs, winning a jackpot does not bring wealth, unless the windfall is invested in programs that benefit the needy. Otherwise, such wealth is as temporary as the blazing flames, fuelled by dried leaves or old newspapers.

Those said to be needy, exclude revellers or drug-peddlers or other non-survival activities. By shunning activities, one would be providing effective service. Value addition implies enabling disadvantaged people to also become productive. This, therefore, implies that education becomes the best value for humanity. Money is generated by people, not by inanimate objects.

Those trading in dangerous drugs––serving the addicts, would be investing in negative conduct. The drug dealer makes lots of money. However the intended satisfaction cannot be sustained when surrounded by drug users, and having to be a fugitive against the law-enforcement agents.

This is just as weaponry trading––though causing devastating effects on other people’s lives––also appears as bringing wealth. The same goes for prostitution and trading in obnoxious activities like human body limbs for whatever ghastly purposes.

Printing billions of valueless bank notes cannot produce wealth. Our Zimbabwe’s seditious inflationary scenario is a classic example of what happens with procuring cash without exchange. True wealth remains achievable only when addressing other people’s needs.

Good employees attract superior salaries. Stingy entrepreneurs––seeking to maximise profits––risk losing highly skilled employees to competitors––including possible pilferage within. Underperforming––considering it as another way of bargaining from an equally stingy employer––weakens an employee’s profile––as to be no longer employable elsewhere.

A good employee can minister to a stingy employer. Joseph effectively ministered to Potiphar in Egypt (Gen. 39:3-4). The same applies to employers, whose goodwill could help non-performing employees to become highly productive.

High-salaried occupations are a result of the scarcity of such careers. A high-paying career is due to effectiveness––when considered beneficial, by entrepreneurs. Comfortable lifestyles, manifested in wealthy people, are also possible among good employees, as long as commendable employment services are provided.

This is why in the world of football clubs are after the signatures of talented footballers. Those footballers are not necessarily academically sophisticated, except that they possess highly needed skills, to be rewarded lucratively.

In a self-centered civilization, jobs are graded by how inferior or superior, due to lack of professionalism. Natural abilities and talents should balance up criteria on remuneration. In reality, no one should be looked down upon. Everyone should be engaged according to their natural abilities. This eliminates all sources of envy.

If scarce, even a sewage cleaning profession could attract lucrative salaries. However, only the unskilled majority queue for menial jobs––due to the abundance of unskilled people in our society. This Civilization is replete with lazy people who fail to use their talents and abilities, to add value to society.

Those taking up sewage cleaning do so out of desperation, without being talented enough to fulfil ambitions to benefit others. With the scarcity of sewage cleaners, anyone with the best methods in sewage handling could craft a highly-paying profession in sewage industries.

There is nothing like superior or inferior occupation in this universe. However, there is professionalism and a lack of professionalism in workplaces. Whoever puts confidence in whatever he/she does produces valuable products.

Professionals give valuable products rather than shoddy products. Sustainable wealth develops from valuable programmes––though at times, such value may not always be readily appreciated by beneficiaries. It takes a tenacious individual to remain committed to what is potentially valuable to humanity––though not readily appreciated, due to ignorance.

Professionalism entails HARD WORK––when carefully attending to finer details. It does not matter whether one is a cleaner, a tea-brewer, an accountant or an artist. Professionalism sets one apart, as producing competitively valuable products. What is required is a spirit of proficiency that sets such people apart.

This is why trendsetters are always those adding, or viewed as adding value, more than the rest. Celebrities are trend/fashion-setters. People approve of such trend-setters’ lifestyles––without even considering their integrity––as ordinary people idolize their heroes.

Professionalism is always associated with what other people find value in. Though practising what was unacceptable in Christianity, one shrewd manager did what benefitted other people, who were then obliged to look after him during hard times:

“I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:1-9 NIV).

The manager realised that true wealth comes from investing in people. Doing the opposite could reduce him to abject poverty, immediately after losing employment. His former master had to commend him: “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly” (vs. 8a NIV).

Poverty is caused by self-centeredness. Others abandon their natural talents to focus on being helped by those erroneously regarded as more privileged. Such behaviour gives comfort but it reduces such low-esteemed people into abject poverty.

There is nothing wrong with desiring help from those holding talents, naturally not possessed by others. Poverty implies the inability to manage the balance between the ability to handle other people’s problems and desiring help from other people.

A person becomes richer when handling other people’s problems, but poorer, when desiring help. Each human being specifically holds peculiar talents. God never created substandard humans. It’s a question of what one does with his/her talent that makes him/her rich or poor.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Only the mindset needs changing. Not that the existing material riches need to be transferred to the have-nots, as advocated by most poor African politicians. Bear in mind, that wealth is not associated with materialism.

Scientifically, this is the only workable solution to addressing the entire world’s poverty problems. Those excelling in handling other people’s problems continue to prosper, yet those focusing on the desire to be helped, remain stuck in poverty, as projected on the illustrative scale of poverty, below:


Scale of Poverty


Receiving                                                    Giving


Poverty                                                        Wealth

The scale tips towards poverty status, on the degree to which the person receives, or needs support. But tipping towards wealth status on the degree to which other people benefit from the individual. On zero point, one becomes neither wealthy nor poor, but self-sufficient. From point zero, when physically incapacitated––as unable to further provide for others––the person is in danger of sliding into real poverty.


When projecting energy––serving according to natural talents and abilities, one is on track towards wealth––depending on how effective, the engagement in such projects is.

Lamenting for the government’s failure to generate employment could be factual, pointing at the ineffectiveness of the government’s policies. But the complainant remains stuck in poverty, regardless of how factual––the stated reasons for the complaint.

However, if the same young man aggregates his passion, determined to handle problems in society, he is on his way out of poverty. This could come from an array of activities, ranging from sanitary chores, sporting disciplines, and artistic initiatives, right up to political activism––depending on talents and abilities.

Others are reduced to poverty by the so-called ‘natural’ disasters––caused by destructive activities in our self-centred civilization. Nevertheless, with the right mindset, those victims cannot remain in such conditions for too long. This includes the effects of civil anarchies; resulting from self-centered politicians.

The desirably talented administrators shun politics to pursue selfish interests. We have talented ‘good’ administrators out there––but not willing to be associated with politics. They probably consider themselves too dignified to wear that label. But what dignity is it about them, if unable to use their God-given talents for everyone’s benefit?

There are those misusing scriptures—suggesting that the morally unacceptable politicians are in government by God’s will—causing God to be blamed. However, the truth remains that all problems of humanity are caused by carelessness. If you are a careless driver, you get involved in an accident.

People fall into diverse problems due to failure to take responsibility for survival matters. Unlike animals, humans are equipped with superior minds to meet survival challenges. God is the author of goodness and order, but not responsible for people’s failure to take advantage of their superior mind provisions.

When choosing order, people survive well. But when choosing confusion, driven by self-centeredness, people reap consequences. God equips some people with leadership skills. Individuals are born with peculiar talents and abilities.

Those equipped with leadership skills ought to be consciously aware of their knack to effectively address problems. Handling survival issues requires responsibility, for goodness’ sake. Instead of burying individual talents—each person is supposed to make a difference.

The ability to discern, when taking responsibility to cause goodness in human societies, is what this world needs. Granted, Satan was given authority to be the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4). Unfortunately, most governments are under Satan’s authority, yet being ignorantly labelled as “Godly”. People waste time and monetary resources to produce constitutions, which are deliberately violated and later blamed when things go wrong.

Wickedness exists, only when the wrong people are in authority. Even an attractively democratic constitution goes wrong when wrong leaders get into power. Remove self-centeredness in government––regardless of whether democratic or undemocratic––you have a near-perfect order.

Africa is embarrassingly associated with poverty—yet being a continent with, possibly, more natural resources than any on the planet. It is not difficult to observe self-centeredness being the cause, as manifesting in poverty.

The self-centered behaviour is understandable when observed in brute animals; but certainly, disgusting when practiced by humans. Most African politicians succumb to corruption yet blame the considered privileged nations––without taking responsibility for addressing the causes of corruption.

The more the so-called privileged nations are denigrated, the more the complainants sink deeper into poverty. This leaves the denigrated entities fortified—having been given responsibility, after all. A blamed entity becomes empowered whilst the complainant worsens in a miserable condition––surviving at the mercy of the blamed entity.

The existence of such politicians reflects the calibre of those voting them into power. Or those not bothered to take responsibility to change the status quo. Hosea prophesied Israel’s problems as emanating from knowledge deficiency (Hos. 4:6).

God’s laws are there to protect physical humans––only if such laws are adequately taken advantage of. This is what liberates people from unnecessary afflictions.

Christ brought liberty from such a state of confusion. However, since Christianity was hijacked by self-centred people––humanity continues wallowing in misery.

Self-centered people are in Christianity, as well as in government. They evolve a system that is difficult to dissolve, as complicated by cultural indebtedness. All problems of humanity are as simple as being unable to take responsibility.

As long as individuals professionally apply what they know best, there is safety. God did not create valueless humans. Each individual needs to discover their talents to become valuable to other fellow humans.

When a group united in one common cause, it becomes impossible to have survival challenges––caused by the syndrome of self-centeredness. As much as causing devastating effects to wild animals––sadly, this syndrome is also evident in humans––created in God’s image.

Under Christ, true Christians are not controlled by such laws. Like Peter, they can walk upon sea waters (Matt. 14:29-30). They have access to supernatural powers like jumping from the temple’s pinnacle, yet not randomly doing so without Christ’s involvement (Matt. 4:5-7).

A Christian is no longer of his own, having been bought by Jesus Christ. He is no longer controlled by the market forces that determine what is considered valuable by other people. A Christian’s labour is mysteriously controlled from above and is not designed to please or seek favours from human beings.

There is no connection between physical wealth and Christianity, whatsoever. However, a Christian can become wealthy if that is God’s will. But that is not a guarantee for incorporation into God’s Kingdom––sustained by The Holy Spirit––without which a person is not a Christian (Rom. 8:9).

Theories not subscribing to God’s will are inappropriate, regardless of one’s membership subscription to any Christian organization––even with a good attendance record and faithful financial support. Of course, this does not, necessarily, imply that all wealth is evil.

To be rich is not sinful but making a god out of riches. It is also not sinful to be poor but to make a god out of poverty. God never created substandard humans. True wealth is not measured by how much money a person accumulates, but by how others benefit from such endeavours. Nevertheless, the New Civilization promises the eventual eradication of all traces of poverty.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

The Print copy is now available at for $13.99

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