A Place for Money in the Kingdom
It’s important to read this earlier post to understand that I am not blasting a particular ministry here, but am making a more
abstract point (continued from here). A newer philosophy that has sprung up in the last few decades is the “prosperity” teaching. The idea is that God wants all Believers in Christ to be rich and to have every luxury material good he or she desires. Often this comes with a fantastical sort of fairy godmother praying that one day a magical money will fall from the sky needing little to no work on one’s own part, but instead being the pure miraculous work of God.
There are many scriptures where God tells us that He wants us to prosper and so it is easy to selectively “prove” this. When Jesus is teaching the parable of talents, he is clearly showing us that we are responsible to be productive stewards of what we have been given materially. It is possible to over-spiritualize and say that He is talking about spiritual assets and gifts, but this is breaking the first rule of reading scripture which is to read exactly what the author is saying. While this principle does apply to all the assets in our life (material, physical, spiritual, mental, & social), you cannot ignore the stated meaning of what Jesus was teaching.
Later, John says: “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2:NASB). He is clearly praying a general blessing of prosperity in all areas of life outside of the most important spiritual area.
However, some take the many scriptures that show God wants to bless us in all of our needs and forget that the Kingdom of God should be our only focus and that we are here to advance that Kingdom and to be focused on that spiritual reality while avoiding being caught up in the material world.
“Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial” (1 Cor. 6:12).
These teachings ignore the fact that God also calls us to suffer greatly for Him from time to time. They ignore the fact that we are to live our lives for others and not for our own indulgence. So if you hear a teaching that is all about gaining wealth so that you can enjoy a life of luxury, be wary. This is a road that Satan would be more than happy to let you walk down. Distracting you from God is his main objective and he cares not the least whether or not you are materially wealthy for a few decades.
The truth of God’s complete Word and will for our lives is that monetary wealth can be a good and powerful tool to help us advance the work that He calls us to, but it can also be a distraction that pulls us away from where He calls us. Thus it is only good for us when we are spiritually mature enough to keep it in its proper place and have it work for us, rather than us for it.
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