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We all want to prosper in whatever we do, but most people think of prosperity strictly in financial terms. It’s true that prosperity includes money, but it doesn’t just stop there. The word “prosper” is defined as succeeding materially and being financially successful, but it also means to flourish physically and to grow strong and healthy. A biblical approach to this gives us an all-encompassing view.
The world’s idea of prosperity encourages a spirit of greed, and many people find themselves in an unhealthy competition with others to hoard as much wealth and material possessions as they can. Succumbing to this mindset can lead us to trust money more than God. The problem with this is that wealth can be fickle and disappear quickly. But God wants us to know that we can always trust Him, and He’ll never desert us. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV).
It’s okay to have money, as long as we don’t develop an unhealthy relationship with it. Financial wealth is simply a tool to bless others in need, and when we give generously to others out of gratitude and thankfulness for God’s blessings in our lives, we, in turn, reap additional blessings. God is a God of plenty, and He wants those who rely on Him not just to “scrape by,” but to always have abundance in all areas. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Constantly worrying and fretting about money doesn’t do anything except bring us to a place of anxiety and mental exhaustion, with nothing positive resulting from it. When we refocus our thoughts on the fact that Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected to make success, abundance, and prosperity available to us, we enter into a different way of thinking. There is no lack, poverty, shortage, or insufficiency in heaven; therefore, there will be no lack in the lives of individuals who believe in His Word. “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:33, 34, AMPC). Putting God first helps us keep every aspect of our lives in the proper perspective.
Most people chase after money as their primary goal, forgetting that life just isn’t the same without mental and physical health, happy relationships, peace, and joy. During His earthly ministry, Jesus warned against putting too much emphasis on collecting “stuff” as a way to measure success and prosperity. “Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions’” (Luke 12:15, NIV).
True prosperity is from God, and it isn’t compartmentalized into just a bank account. It’s about following His prompting and allowing Him to richly bless every area of our lives. “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2, NKJV). Keeping this definition of prosperity uppermost in our minds spares us from the trap of wrong-thinking in this area.
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