The experience they say it the best teacher. The idea of prosperity is deeper than the acquisition of material things. Prosperity is an “elastic concept” covering such good things as intellectual and spiritual realities. From this angle, I can make some meaningful contribution to the topic.
Our approach shall be to examine the biblical meaning of poverty, prosperity, offer the scriptural guide and practical guide on how to overcome poverty.
1. The biblical understanding of poverty:
Poverty means, lacking in material or spiritual goods. The state of being poor is mentioned in two ways in the Bible;
1. Secondary cause: Poverty is seen as the consequence of moral laxity especially laziness (Prov. 13: 18, 20: 13, 10: 14)
2. Primary cause: The scripture recognizes injustice and other social factors as being responsible for poverty (Prov. 13:3, Eccl. 4:1-2).
2. The biblical understanding of prosperity:
Prosperity can be described as the abundant possession of various forms of material things and by extension some valuable immaterial things. Material wealth comes through the blessing of God (Deut. 28: 1-14) prosperity is the gift from God (Eccl. 5:17-19, 22: 24-26). James 1:16-17 crowns it all that everything that is good comes from God. From the foregoing it is pertinent for us to point out that wealth is given by God for the definite purpose, God gives for the purpose of meeting the need of the poor (Deut.15:7-11,2 Cor. 9: 8-10).
The above claim will definitely raise a question, from experience often only the bad people make it, those who try to keep the commandments of God may not really have prosperity, the scripture has the answer (Mal.3: 14-18, Prov. 23: 17, Eccl. 5: 11-14, Prov. 20: 17, Prov. 13: 22).
Poverty to prosperity: Scriptural recipe:
i. Hard work is highly recommended. Prov. 20: 13
ii. Be upright. Prov. 15: 6
iii. Be trustworthy. Prov. 28:20.
Iv. Be charitable to the poor. Prov. 11:24-25, 28:27
V. Be diligent at your place of work. Prov. 12:27
Poverty to Prosperity: Temporal recipe:
According to Percira A.P, three things are required succeeding in any endeavours which are:
i. You must intend to succeed.
ii. You must learn to succeed.
iii. You must persevere till success is yours.
Other points include believe in yourself, remember the red sea, Goliath and the wall of Jericho all gave way in the face of determination by those involved. Cut the rope of failure, plan for success, stop the leak. Take God into your plan. Prov. 16:1, 9, 19:21.
Caution: Danger signal on prosperity.
In as much as there is nothing wrong to be prosperous. Every true Christian should be careful about the manner he strives after prosperity and what he/ she do with it after acquiring it.
i. Prosperity without the fear of God possesses the danger to the spiritual and moral health of the possessor. (Ps 49:12-13, 20).
ii. Prosperity is a contrary force competing with God, for man’s attraction and attention, (Matt. 6:21, 24, Job 22:23-26).
iii. Excessive desire for prosperity can destroy one’s faith (1 Tim 6: 9-10).
iv. An individual can rely on himself rather than God when prosperity (Prov. 30: 8-9).
v. Prosperity often leads to greed and avarice (Lk. 12:13-21).
vi. Callous and meanness are vices that readily go with prosperity (Ecc. 13:3-6).
Prosperity is not bad in itself. As such Christian when a-strives to be prosperous there is the need to strive for spiritual values that will guide one on how to get and the grace of God to use it according to the will of God.
Our desire to be prosperous should also be to acquire spiritual values, intellectual, good morals and good human relations. The bible says what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?
Material prosperity without spiritual is abject poverty of the worst grade (Rev. 3:17-18) is instructive on this, before you as a Christian begin to strive for material prosperity at the expense of spiritual prosperity consider (Ecc. 31:1).God bless you.