Christians, especially the white evangelicals, are more likely to blame a person's state of poverty on laziness or lack of individual effort compared with non-Christians, a survey among 1,686 American adults has found.
In the survey conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation from April 13 to May 1, only 29 percent of non-Christians pointed to a lack of effort as the general cause of a person's poverty. However, 46 percent of all Christians said the same thing.
Among white evangelical Protestants, 53 percent blame poverty on a lack of effort and 41 percent said it was because of circumstances. Among Catholics, 50 percent point to lack of effort as the cause of poverty, while 45 percent put it down to circumstances.
As for the atheists, agnostics, or those who do not belong to any religion, 65 percent said difficult circumstances are the main cause of being poor, while 31 percent blamed a lack of effort.
There are many theories and ideas about the main cause of poverty, but Got Questions presented a comprehensive Biblical perspective on the issue. The site acknowledged that bad decisions sometimes lead to poverty, as Proverbs 27:33-34 warned that being lazy will cause a man to become poor and Proverbs 28:19 said pursuing wild fantasies will also lead to the same result. Proverbs 13:18, on the other hand, said "Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction."
However, there are also Biblical passages like Revelation 2:9 that said being poor in material things does not necessarily spell the same situation for the spiritual things. Being poor is not exactly a cause of shame, as the writer of Proverbs prayed for just enough blessings to provide for his "daily bread."
Meanwhile, the Bible generally speaks against wealth as a hindrance for people who want to follow God. In Mark 10:23, Jesus said it was very difficult for the rich to make it to the Lord's kingdom. Christ said this because wealth has a tendency to pull people away from God and leads them to trust in their material possessions rather than in Him.