Jeffery Parks

Is Prosperity Selfish?

Jeffery Parks
Is Prosperity Selfish?

There is a mistaken belief that being prosperous is sinful, and having money is against God’s will. But if we study the Scriptures, we see that He wants to bless us in every way and in every aspect of our lives, including our finances. Money itself is not evil, but the worship of it is. In both the Old and New Testaments we see example after example of God teaching us the difference between the right attitude and the wrong attitude about money. If our heart is right and our motives are pure, it is okay to be prosperous.

 

We need the heart of a steward (Matthew 25:1-46).

The story of the bridegroom and the virgins teaches us that we should manage the resources God has given us, and always be prepared for when He comes. We must manage God’s affairs the same way a steward manages his master’s business. Planning ahead is wise. Procrastination is seen as being foolish. In this case, the oil is the Gospel and also the anointing from God. Jesus also tells a story about a master who gives talents, money, to his servants and punishes the one who did not multiply his talents. God expects us to multiply the talents and gifts He blesses us with, not simply receive them and keep them to ourselves. Our God is a God of multiplication. He wants us to use our abilities to serve others, and He will multiply them. The lesson about the sheep on God’s right and the goats on His left illustrates how God sees the way we utilize the talents and gifts He gives us. The sheep are the multipliers who shared God’s’ gifts by giving water to the thirsty, feeding the hungry, visiting those who were sick and in prison, and welcoming the stranger. The goats did none of that. The sheep stewarded and managed God’s affairs properly.

 

Prosperity is not selfish. It is for the purpose of carrying out the business of the kingdom.

It is not about us, it is about blessing others through the excess that comes to us. Motivation is important. We can do all the right things for all the wrong reasons. Our motivation must come from a humble heart wanting to bless others.

 

If what we do is not done in the right spirit, it will amount to zero blessing for us. The mother of Zebedee’s children appeared to worship Jesus, but she had ulterior motives (Matthew 20:20, 21). She wanted something for herself, and Jesus detected that right away. Whatever we do, if it is not done out of love, it matters not (1 Corinthians 13:3). As Christians, we should measure our motives against this Scripture. 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. Abram gave tithes because of his thankfulness to God for delivering him from his enemies (Genesis 14:20). Zacchaeus gave out of his gratitude and love for Jesus (Luke 19:5-8). Mary also gave with the right spirit, out of thankfulness for Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 12:1-3).

There is widespread misinterpretation about how the Bible describes financial prosperity. It is not about money, but about loving and trusting God. Being godly does not mean we should not have money. The book of Timothy describes contentment as having our needs met (1 Timothy 6:6-12). Loving God does not mean we have to be broke and poor, and having money does not mean we are ungodly. Money has nothing to do with godliness. It has to do with our relationship with money.

 

Real prosperity is defined by how much we give away, not how much we keep for ourselves.

 

Joseph prospered even though he was a slave and did not have lots of “stuff” at first (Genesis 39:2, AMP). God made him prosperous and successful. Everyone Joseph came in contact with was blessed through him.

 

Scriptures to Study:

Matthew 25:1-46

Luke 19:5-8

Matthew 20: 20, 21

John 12:1-3

1 Corinthians 13:3

1 Timothy 6:6-12

Genesis 14:20

Genesis 39:2

 

Jeffrey Parks