The Bible is replete with descriptions of what the blessings of God look like and how God gives us the incredible gift of salvation through Christ as the greatest blessing of all. Anyone who has a personal relationship with Jesus and the privilege of walking with Him, connecting to Him, talking to Him, and living for Him is experiencing the pinnacle of what prosperity is meant to be. The things of this world pale in comparison to God and what He has in store for those who know Him.
8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith (Philippians 3:8-9, ESV).
Everything is a “loss” when it is placed beside the “surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Knowing Jesus through salvation is the greatest blessing we can receive. Everything else, especially everything that the world can offer, including, and especially, the wealth of this world falls massively short of the joy of knowing Christ. Paul states that he considers everything that the world offers as “rubbish” so long as he is able to connect with Christ. Salvation is the greatest gift that God prospers us with, and nothing else is close. The rich man without Christ is infinitely more lacking than the poor man with Christ. Ultimately, this is the type of prosperity that God promises and offers.
Even beyond salvation, God’s word has some incredible promises about what is more important than wealth and money in our lives. The book of Proverbs has a list of blessings that surpasses money in importance. Here are a few of those:
What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar (Proverbs 19:22, ESV).
“Better to be poor than a liar.” Honesty is of more value in our lives than riches. When we live with honesty, people can trust us and we have much to offer and can live in harmony with those around us. Deceit breeds turmoil and disdain from others. According to this verse in Proverbs, honesty is a more desirable blessing than wealth. If we can be prosperous in being a truthful person, that is of more value in our lives than the amount of wealth that we have.
• A Good Reputation
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold (Proverbs 22:1, ESV).
The integrity of your name and the reputation that you hold in the community is worth more than the riches of this world. What people think of us can be of more value than worldly wealth. This does not mean that we should give in to the ways of the world because some will speak ill of us or even persecute us for being followers of Christ. Instead, this means that we should live with such a high regard for doing the right thing that others see that commitment to truth and honesty in our lives and hold us in high esteem because of it. If we are cheating others or taking advantage of others, our name will become stained with a bad reputation and others will not want to associate with us. Further, our witness for Christ will be hurt because of our dishonesty. If people cannot trust us in business dealings, how will they ever trust us as we tell them about the salvation that is available in Christ?
• Godly Character
Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool (Proverbs 19:1, ESV).
One of the most important aspects of our lives is to have a walk of “integrity.” This does not mean that we will be perfect; but it does mean that we are generally living in a way that honors the Lord and blesses Him, and we are consistently growing in our relationship with the Lord and becoming more and more of who He wants us to be: those without wealth, the “poor person,” as the verse puts it, but whose life is lining up with the call of the Lord on his or her life is a better place to be. Character is more important than wealth in God’s economy.
• Peaceful and Loving Home
Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife (Proverbs 17:1, ESV).
When things are going well at home, much of life tends to fall into place as well. But when things are struggling at home with dissension and conflict, peace is hard to achieve in any aspect of life. If our home is progressing in tranquility and the atmosphere of the household is calm, peaceful, and loving, we have a tremendous blessing of prosperity from the Lord. That household is richer than the household that has a feast on the table but tension and conflict between family members.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her (Proverbs 8:10-11, ESV).
Listening to and doing what the Lord says to do, and having the wisdom to discern those truths and live them out is of more value in our lives than the wealth that the world spends so much time and effort pursuing. Following God’s instruction, growing in the Lord’s knowledge, living in the wisdom of Christ are worth more than silver, gold, and rubies. These things that the world esteems as valuable are not able to compare with the blessing of knowing God, hearing from God, and understanding what He is calling us to do. In fact, this Proverb explains it aptly: “all that you may desire cannot compare with her.” Nothing has as much value as the wisdom that God imparts in our lives. Hearing Him and understanding what He wants for us will be of much greater worth than money and riches.
Just in one book of the Bible, Proverbs, we find many things that have a greater value than worldly wealth. When we see the promise of followers of Jesus being prosperous, we must be careful to measure prosperity like God measures prosperity. An incorrect definition of what God promises will lead to misguided expectations and frustration. We should want to be blessed with the things that God wants to bless us with because these are the things that matter the most.
This is part of a series of publications by Akesse Sanza on the heading The Hidden Keys to Prosperity. Whatsapp +233 269825999 to receive all subsequent articles on the subject.