Four Foundational Relationships

God established four foundational relationships for each person: a relationship with God, with self, with others and the rest of creation.

Stop and think: If poverty is rooted in the brokenness of the foundational relationships, then who are the poor? Due to the comprehensive nature of the fall, every human being is poor in the sense of not experiencing these four relationships in the way that God intended. Every human being is suffering from a poverty of spiritual intimacy, a poverty of being, a poverty of community, and a poverty of stewardship. We are all simply incapable of being what God created us to be and are unable to experience the fullness of joy that God designed for these relationships. Every minute since the fall, each human being is the proverbial “square peg in a round hole.” We don’t fit right, because we were shaped for something else. For some people the brokenness in these foundational relationships results in material poverty, that is their not having sufficient money to provide for the basic physical needs of themselves and their families.

Think back to a situation in which you have tried to minister to others. In what ways did your approach help both you and them to overcome a poverty of spiritual intimacy, a poverty of being, a poverty of community, and a poverty of stewardship? In what ways did your approach actually contribute to greater “poverty” in the four relationships for both you and them?

When Helping Hurts, by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert

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