Overcome Poverty Mentality




Poverty is defined as the state of being inferior in quality or insufficient in amount. I have noticed that poverty never shows up alone in a person’s life – It’s gang includes hopelessness, depression and victimhood (you know, the “poor me, pity me” syndrome). These together with poverty create a poverty mentality.

Society has pushed the idea that success is a big bank account filled with unlimited cash, fancy cars, big houses. “The good life” is portrayed as parties and brand-named clothing and crowds of people you can call “friends”.  People have judged themselves and others against this standard. This image has been drummed into us since kindergarten, and for today’s little ones, as soon as that device is put into their little hands.

It is only as we get older and wiser we discover that true success in life has nothing to do material wealth and cannot be bought with cash.

Poverty mentality take  tries to take its opportunity in our early lives.  It seems to invite its fellow "gangsters" to the party too. If we allow it to succeed, our view of life and success and our self worth is severely affected.

Lets take a look at how it happens:

The first invitation comes from Judgement - Many have not achieved societies skewed view grand success – some have achieved some of it for a period in their life. Being dubbed “a failure” results in losing confidence, hope, joy and determination – the result hopelessness, desperation, victimhood = Poverty.

The Second invitation comes from Emptiness – A life set up by design to achieve societies elusive success only to realize it is NOT success, brings with it a 2-fold realization.  Firstly – life is lacking authenticity, joy and probably true love and secondly a wasted life. Both of those lead to hopelessness, depression and victimhood = Poverty.

The third invitation comes from non-achievers – “its too hard”, “its not fair”,” I just can’t” are words that flow from their mouths together with blaming everyone and everything they can because they cannot achieve Societies success – this very quickly leads to hopelessness, depression and victimhood = Poverty.

So how do we overcome this poverty mentality?

  1. Redefine success. I love the definition we find in Proverbs 3:1-4

“My son, do not forget my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life [worth living] and tranquillity and prosperity [the wholeness of life’s blessings] they will add to you.  Do not let mercy and kindness and truth leave you [instead let these qualities define you]; Bind them [securely] around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So find favour and high esteem In the sight of God and man.” (Amp)


  1. Overcome Hopelessness – It requires effort, searching, yearning and changing to restore hope. There is no quick fix on this one. One of the passages that really helped me personally was Jeremiah 29:11-14(a)

 ‘For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.12 ~‘Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you.13 ~‘Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 ~‘I will be found by you,’ says the Lord(Amp)

3. Overcome Depression – I find it interesting that overcoming depression has become an entire industry – it seems to me though that all the pills and adrenaline drinks are merely a band aid – The root of depression runs deep and always seems to stem from self-worth. Because of this it takes huge effort to overcome this one.

It seems to have control over your feelings – Many times something wonderful will happen but you find you are unable to ”celebrate” because this heavy feeling of sadness just seems to have caged you. Be patient with yourself and remain strong – Here is a great perspective from David – Psalm 40: 1-3

“ I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.” (Amp)


  1. Overcome Victimhood – this one has consumed our world on a global scale. It has caused many wars, robbed many and taken many lives. Victimhood is for me truly the worst of the worst because it is relinquishing your power over your Life - FIGHT TO TAKE IT BACK!

Take responsibility for yourself, your decisions, your actions – be present and LIVE! 1 John 5:4 says:

 Everyone born of God is victorious and overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has conquered and overcome the world--our [continuing, persistent] faith [in Jesus the Son of God]. (Amp)


 Liëtte (Lee) Smith


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