And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. -Matthew 19:24
Why does God allow some people to prosper more than others? Is the person making $100,000 a year closer to God than the person that makes $10,000? Are Christians meant to be healthy, wealthy and happy; and if you aren’t, does that mean you’re not trusting God enough?
These questions all boil down to one… What is prosperity?
The world says that prosperity is money, cars, homes, vacations… The American Dream. And many churches are preaching the “Prosperity Gospel” that we’ve touched on before. But, what about Christians in other parts of the world? Most of them are worse off than an American on welfare. Does that mean that they’re not as good as a Christian that makes a lot of money?
The Bible tells us something different. We are told that the early church gave away all their possessions and gave the money to the poor. They had to take care of each other. Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell everything and give it away. He told others to take up their cross and follow Him; implying that the road ahead would be rough.
Why did Jesus not live here like a wealthy king? Why did His disciples not live like kings? They were poor. Jesus said He didn’t have a place to lay His head and had to eat from the “poor” corners of the fields. There are Christians in the world today that have had to make the decision to choose Jesus over they’re own lives. They lost their families and their livelihood because they accepted Christ.
So what did Jesus mean when He said that He gives us life more abundantly? Maybe He meant that a life lived for possessions was never real prosperity or abundance. He also told us to seek first the Kingdom of God…
I know a man that said, “The man who dies with the most toys wins.” I know he had a lot of expensive toys. And he enjoyed them. But, that man has since passed away. I wonder if he feels like he won. Did all the money and toys distract him from what was most important, a relationship with Christ? We have a tendency to forget about all the Hollywood idols and corrupt politicians that are rolling in money. Their “prosperity” certainly doesn’t mean they’re close to The Lord. And yet, many in “The Church” make it seem like living for Jesus equals living like a rock star.
I’m not against money or having nice things. But I think, sometimes, wealthy Christians feel that maybe they’re just a bit more spiritual than other Christians, maybe just a bit better. I’m afraid that when trouble comes they may find out otherwise. Hopefully, they come down from their high horse before trouble does come. Remember, God is no respecter of persons. A person’s wealth doesn’t make them “rich.” And a person’s poverty doesn’t make them poor.
If you are fortunate enough to have more money or health or processions than another; first, thank God for what He has given you. Then, realize that we are blessed that we may bless others. You may not have to give away everything you have, but it’s better to willingly give it away than to eventually lose it. I seem to recall that scripture says everything belongs to God anyway.
Just something to think about.
Until next time…
-Steven Walker Sr.