In the previous blog – Part 1 – I promised I will continue to look at the four aspects of what prosperity is not. I have spoken to many people who gave me some understanding of what they think of these four areas. What I am putting down is a combination their inputs and my understanding. I am addressing only two of these in this part so we can have enough time to reflect on each one of them. The other two will be adressed in part 3 which will be the last on this topic. It is my prayer that you will find this blog interesting and encourage you to make comments on this.
- Prosperity is not the absence of poverty
I am sure many of you have experienced poverty personally or have seen others go through poverty. I grew up in physical and material poverty but not spiritual poverty. As I said in the beginning of redefining prosperity, my family was spiritually prosperous. We were feed with the Word of God Jehovah everyday and our faith in believing that as a family we are spiritually prosperous; we knew that we would come out of physical and material poverty one day; and indeed we did come out of physical and material poverty. Our understanding was that we do not have to believe [as the world believed] that we were poor. We believed in spiritual prosperity which kept some of us focused on the Lord and keeping faith that He will provide, protect, promote and heal. While some saw us as malnurished and thin, we were strong inside and we could do all the things which ‘prosperous’ families could do. We were protected the same as them although we did not have high fences and barglar bars at home. We were promoted in life same way as them yet we did not have the kind of money to buy text books for studying and yet we excelled at school. And, we were healed and kept healthy even though we did not have ‘healthy’ foods that they had. Maybe eating less for us was a blessing disguised as we were never sick where we would require medical attention. This for us is prosperity. Indeed prosperity is not the absence of poverty as defined generally as lack of food, clothes, and homes, but having the blessings of life in abundance that is full of spiritual blessings.
My questions to you the reader are therefore – Have you experienced poverty in your life? What were you deprived of? Are you still ‘poor’ even today? If not poor anymore, what helped you to come out of poverty? I am interested also in hearing from those who believe that they were helped spiritually to move out of poverty. Many other people told me that for them to be physically prosperous, they were assisted by their spiritual pastors/spiritualists to keep faith in God as Jehovah Jireh – their Provider. Someone told me that he is where he is because a certain pastor help him through prayer and miracle portions like oils and water to be prosperous. I wonder how did this work! It would be interesting to see how many of us believe in miracles and using portions to be ‘prosperous’ in the physical. I must upfront say that I came out of physical poverty not because I knew, believed and practice the Word of God only, but that I studied hard to receive my qualifications and worked hard in my career too. I still work hard even today at the age of 60 and I believe I will continue to work hard God-willing, as it is Him who blesses us with long life (Psalm 91:16).
2. Prosperity is not about money
Money money money – ‘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’ as Timothy 6:10 says. We should understand that Timothy talks about the LOVE of money. We should not love money more than loving God, our neighbours, brothers and sisters. We live in a world where money defines everything we do, to the extend that some people would do anything to have it in abundance. Money should not control who we are in Christ. This is one of the key cause where some of the Church leaders would use the word ‘prosperity’ refering to richness of money. They would preach or teach their congragrants/followers to believe that when their leaders pray for them and they give everything or the majority of their money to them [Church leaders or pastors] they would be rich instantly or in the near future. Because of the love of money these followers would do anything to please their leaders so that they themselves would in turn become rich. We have seen some of these leaders becoming instant millionnaires while their followers remain in extreme physical and material poverty. I am not even sure how spiritually prosperous are these ‘poor’ followers.
My questions to you as you continue to read this blog is, why should we believe more in human beings to make us ‘prosperous’ than God and working hard for our money? Is money more important to living a Godly life? Are we once we are prosperous ready to share with others too? How would you share your wealth with the ‘poor’? Do you believe that giving your church leader money would make you rich or are you tithing or making an offering because of other reasons e.g. helping the church to provide for the poor or build a church? Do you believe that the church leaders should preach about money? What do you expect the church to do in providing for spiritual and physical prosperity to those in need? How should this be done?
It is my prayer that as a people we should be wise to know that while God is the Provider of everything in our lives, we should also be wise to note that money prosperity is not the only fulfilling aspect of life. There are many other spirtual needs that we have to consider. We need to be wise not to believe in ‘prosperity gospel’ as preached in some of the churches in many countries. God who is the Creator of everything is our Provider and He will give us strength to create wealth for ourselves, provide job opportunities for us, give us wisedom to invest wisely for our future care and encourage us to take bold steps in establishing businesses to benefit others. At the end, it is us who must work hard too.
May Jehovah speak to our hearts should we be required to tithe or give an offering in Church and not do these because we are forced by someone to do so.
Please note that I will address the other two aspects in part 3 of this topic. What are your thoughts? Please share with us.