Prosperity tends to be a “lightning rod” and trigger word to many Christians. I chose to write four blogs on it not to get attention, nor to offend my readers, but to help you realize we Christians have many bias’ and blind spots stemming from our experiences and denominational traditions which may not stand the test of fruitfulness and maximum kingdom impact.
Most of us think our views on a topic like prosperity are biblical, but that’s because we’ve been taught with persistent repetition what to believe about these things. We attend churches who believe similarly to what we’ve been taught from the Bible and our beliefs are very entrenched, but is it possible our position is biased, with no revelation or insight on the horizon of said topic? Is their a chance we’ve attained the biblical status of “old wineskin” in this particular matter?
In this final prosperity blog let’s conclude with a few common questions. I call them “default” position questions. You know – the “what about” questions which automatically pour forth when faced with a new or foreign concept which disrupts are normal patterns of thought.
#1 – Are you saying all Christians should be rich? Well, the Bible says we’re already rich, rulers, kings, blessed, royalty, and more. All things are ours. It was for freedom that Christ set us free. The Christian life is a journey towards more and more freedom in Christ – at least I think it should be. The Spirit has been given to you “in order that we might know the things freely given to us by God…these things we speak.” (1 Cor 2). It’s all a matter of degrees. We’re all supposed to be like Jesus, but we know we’re only like Him in degrees. Sadly, some believers are not like Him much at all. Why not set the standard high at a young age – emotionally, spiritually and financially? What I am definitely saying is it will be done to you according to your vision and faith.
#2 – Shouldn’t we be content with our “lot” in life – including our income status? We should be content whether we have a little or a lot. But any good quality taken to an extreme can diminish or dilute the benefits of other qualities. An over emphasis on contentment can hinder God-given ambition to multiply your talents. Where their is no vision the people perish. What some call contentment may really be middle class American comfort and security disguised as contentment – when through vision, courage and skill you could have done so much more. You will reap what you sow in vision, thought, and practice in the financial realm. I give you permission to think bigger and higher – maybe even immeasurably more than we can even ask or think!
#3 – Shouldn’t are focus be on the spreading the gospel verses making money? Our focus should be loving God and loving people while we advance and multiply 30, 60 and 100 fold. But why do you pit sharing the gospel against wealth creation? That’s what you’re doing when you go to work. You’re going to work 40-60 hours a week for most of your life. Why not shoot for financial independence at a younger age so you can pursue your Gog-given passions with more freedom and flexibility. I think this is wisdom, not worldliness. Some of us think enduring the job world is godly and noble when it could be a subtle compromise of your abilities. Making a living is honorable verses not being able to pay your bills – I concur – but it’s still way below our capacity and potential. Most of us need internal permission to dream along these lines and then some solid cheer-leading, coaching and training to accomplish it. The evangelical church is emphasizing hard work, stewardship and giving in it’s various forms, but it’s not unleashing it’s members to excel. It’s primarily coming from charismatic pulpits and that’s unfortunate in my opinion.
#4 – I’m still nervous about a topic like prosperity! Don’t be nervous, be biblical. I mean it. Look up Proverbs 3 & 8 and Psalm 112. Godliness does not need to equal poverty or just getting by. I’m proposing much of our angst about this topic is an over-emphasis on the dangers of money and the sensational failures of some TV evangelists. I am finding that Christians who have freedom to pursue maximizing their talents/finances for the glory of God will be challenged to grow in faith, skill and character in ways they wouldn’t have if they had settled for making a living. When you have freedom to pursue a godly prosperity, it will spill over into your spiritual life.
Now go dream some dreams of what you’d like to accomplish!