Before we get too far into this discussion about prosperity, let’s decide to agree on this truth: wealth, in and of itself, is not wrong. By promoting God’s prosperity, it does not mean that anyone who is wealthy on this earth is necessarily living in sin. They may be; but, they may not be. Monetary prosperity is not a sign of godly prosperity nor is it an indication of rampant sin in someone’s life. Numerous people in the Bible who were faithful to God and obedient for the biggest part of their walk with God were wealthy people. Here is a short list: Solomon, Abraham, Isaac, Job, David, and Joseph are all examples of men who were wealthy in worldly terms but still walked with God. When we talk about chasing after the prosperity that God offers, God may still choose to bless an individual or family with great monetary resources. But, not all godly people have their prosperity manifested in monetary success. Further, not all people who have great monetary success are prosperous in God’s eyes.
God gives us this truth in the Bible:
9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs (1 Timothy 6:9-10, ESV).
Some think that money is the root of all evil. That’s not what the Bible says. Instead, the Bible says that “the love of money” is where the evil comes from that pulls so many off the path that God wants us to stay on. Money, in and of itself, is neutral. Money can be used for good or evil. Money can become a blessing or a curse. Money never does anything wrong. People can do wrong things with money. Likewise, people can also do generous and gracious things with money.
The love of money is where the evil enters. The mentality of being willing to do whatever it takes to gain more money is where people go so wrong. In 1 Timothy 6:9, Paul warns that people fall into temptation because of the unhealthy desire to get rich. Paul calls that desire for more and more money “a snare” that entraps those who have that love, and yearning desire, for money. In fact, Paul says that the result of that kind of desire for money can be to “plunge people into ruin and destruction” (see verses above). The pursuit of money at any cost will lead to a road that is dangerous and deceitful.
Paul also describes in the 1 Timothy passage above that it is not just those of the world who fall into the trap. Verse 10 says that some have “wandered away from the faith” because of an unhealthy love, and the pursuit, of monetary wealth. Some end up loving money more than loving God, and end up ultimately walking far away from the Lord because of that inappropriate love of money.
Wealth is not wrong in itself. But we must exercise great caution because the love of money, pursuing money, becoming consumed by money, and allowing money to be the priority in our lives will lead to distance between us and God, and consequently lead to destruction in our lives. Wealth is not wrong, but it can become wrong if we do not handle it with the right attitude. If we understand that everything we have is from God, and He calls us to be good stewards of what He has blessed us with, then we are on our way to understanding how God wants us to handle His blessings in our life. It all belongs to Him. We are taking care of it for Him, and in a way where we are being obedient and doing what He wants us to do with the monetary and other blessings that He has given us.
Having wealth shows that this is what God has chosen to give us, and He wants us to utilize the wealth for His glory and to advance His kingdom. Any other purpose of our wealth is a misused and often selfish purpose, which God calls us to grow beyond. Wealth is not bad in itself. The question remains: what do we do with the wealth that God blesses us with?
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.