Prosperity is Not Selfish

by Creflo Dollar | 24 Feb 2020


There is a mistaken belief that being prosperous is sinful and having money is against God’s will. However, if we study the Scriptures, we see that He wants to bless us in every aspect of our lives, including our finances. Money itself is not evil, but the worship of it is. In the Scriptures, we see example after example of God teaching us the difference between the right attitude and the wrong attitude about money. Biblical prosperity is not simply about monetary wealth; it also affects our marriages, our family relationships, our health, and every area of our lives. God wants to meet all our needs, regardless of what they are. If our heart is right and our motives are pure, it is okay to prosper.

  1. Jesus told parables to illustrate how we should think about money.
    1. Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed heir lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you, but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh (Matthew 25:1-13).
      1. We need the heart and mind of a steward. We must manage God’s affairs the same way a steward manages his master’s business.
      2. Planning ahead is wise. Procrastination is seen as being foolish.
      3. The issue in this parable was how the virgins managed their oil, which was a type of anointing. The oil is the Gospel and the business of the kingdom.
    2. For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:14-30).
      1. God gives us talents because He intends for us to cause increase and not simply to keep them to ourselves. If we take something that belongs to someone else, we must manage it wisely.
      2. The first two stewards were rewarded because they could be trusted with the little they received from their master.
      3. Our God is a God of multiplication. He wants us to increase the resources we are given and not spend them on carnal appetites.
    3. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (Matthew 25:31-46).
      1. The sheep are the multipliers who shared God’s’ gifts and stewarded His affairs. The goats did none of that.
      2. God puts resources, including money, in our hands so that we can carry out the affairs of the kingdom.
      3. We are God’s hands and feet. When we take care of His business, He will take care of us. If He can get money through us, He can get it to us.
      4. We must take seriously our responsibility as stewards of the affairs of the kingdom. God intends for us to have more than enough. Prosperity is not selfish.
      5. Being blessed with excess allows us to be a blessing to others. Having money helps us establish God’s covenant on the earth. He gives us the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).
      6. Grace is not just for “church folks.” Jesus came to deliver the entire world, both saved and unsaved (John 3:17).
  1. If what we do is not done in the right spirit, it will amount to zero blessing for us.
    1. Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom (Matthew 20:20, 21).
      1. The mother appeared to worship Jesus but she had ulterior motives. She wanted something for herself, and Jesus detected that right away.
      2. We must purify our motives. Some preachers present prosperity from a selfish standpoint; for them, it is about getting more. We must give with a humble heart that wants to bless others.
      3. Our motives behind giving determine the benefit, the harvest, and the return. Plenty of people do good things with the wrong motive.
    2. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing (1 Corinthians 13:3).
      1. As Christians, we should measure our motives against this Scripture. Nothing we do has any benefit unless it is motivated by love.
      2. Giving is a reflex that comes from the right motives, which come from loving and trusting God and wanting to thank Him for what He has done.
    3. Motives are everything. Abram gave tithes because of his thankfulness to God for delivering him from his enemies. Zacchaeus gave out of his gratitude and love for Jesus. Mary also gave with the right spirit, out of thankfulness for Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.
      1. And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all (Genesis 14:20).
      2. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said to him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying that he was gone to be guest with a man that was a sinner. And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold (Luke 19:5-8).
      3. Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment (John 12:1-3).
  1. Financial prosperity is not about money, but about loving and trusting God.
    1. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses (1 Timothy 6:6-12).
      1. In this context, contentment means having all our needs met. It does not say that having a godly attitude means we cannot have riches.
      2. Loving God does not mean we have to be broke and poor, and having money does not mean we are ungodly.
      3. Real prosperity is defined by how much we give away, not how much we keep for ourselves.
      4. Money has nothing to do with godliness. It is not godly to be poor any more than it is godly to be rich.
      5. Real prosperity is defined by how much we give away, not how much we keep for ourselves.
    2. But the Lord was with Joseph, and he, though a slave, was a successful and prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made all that he did to flourish and succeed in his hand. So Joseph pleased Potiphar and found favor in his sight, and he served him. And his master made him supervisor over his house and he put all that he had in his charge (Genesis 39:2-4, AMPC).
      1. Being prosperous means different things for different people. When we have the right motives and we seek God first, prosperity works anywhere.
      2. Prosperity does not mean having a big house, a fancy car, or lots of money. We can be prosperous without any of those things.
      3. Joseph prospered even though he was a slave and did not have many material possessions at first. God made him prosperous and successful.
      4. Joseph had the spirit of excellence and prosperity and Potiphar was blessed because of Joseph. Even when Joseph was put in prison, the prison was blessed because of him.
      5. When Joseph interprets a dream for Pharaoh, Pharaoh puts him second in command of all of Egypt. Joseph blessed everyone with whom he came into contact.

    For more on how biblically-based thinking about money leads to blessings and success in life, including in our finances, click on the link below for the DVD God Can Make You a Financial Success.

    Scripture References

    Matthew 25:1-46

    Deuteronomy 8:18

    John 3:17

    Matthew 20:20, 21

    1 Corinthians 13:3

    Genesis 14:20

    Luke 19:5-8

    John 12:1-3

    1 Timothy 6:6-12

    Genesis 39:2-4, AMPC