My Prosperity Redefined
We’ve all heard of the prosperity gospel and how verses taken out of context could easily support that doctrine.
But before we judge too harshly, is there a difference in believing God wants material prosperity for us and believing He wants immaterial prosperity?
Are spiritual pursuits more righteous simply because rewards are more intangible than tangible?
One day, while in the bathroom, I heard footsteps approach the door and stop. Then came the knock. “Are you in there?”
Pause. My husband.
Then, moments later, I heard a different knock. “Mom, are you in there?”
I hear my husband say, “Yep, she’s in there.”
When I opened the door, there they were, sitting on my bed waiting for me. It actually made me smile, to be needed, and loved, but really, I just wanted some alone time.
I know young moms get it. Closing the bathroom door is the only way to get five minutes of peace and quiet.
As an introvert, I enjoy the quiet when I’m stressed, bored, focused, irritated, tired, emotional, happy, joyful, peaceful…okay…pretty much any time. But as I studied my Bible this morning, I was shown that I no longer enjoy solitude, I’ve embraced it so much that I expect it. Now anything outside of solitude is not part of the plan.
Maybe “quiet” has become my prosperity doctrine.
In 3 John 2, John is writing to Gaius and greets him with love and truth: “Beloved, I pray you will prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (NKJV).
This text is wrapped, literally, in verses 1 and 3-4, in truth. Gaius is loved in truth (1), the truth is in him (3), and he walks in truth (4). The truth John speaks of is the body of Christ and His Church. The teachings of the gospel message and the revelation of his word.
Prosperity, as John wishes it for Gaius, is not found in net worth of millions, clean medical reports, beautiful faces, virtuous jobs or even righteous pursuits. It is not found in circles of friends or at the bottom of a wine bottle. Our heavenly rewards are not measured in the vacations we take or the cars we drive.
Nor are they found in the solitude we cherish. Or the five minutes of quiet we steal in bathroom stall. Prosperity is not found on a long drive or in a hot bath.
The prosperity of soul is reached when we seek righteousness, when our love and thirst for the truth finds our souls joyful, cleansed, redeemed, and full of grace.
Whether we covet material and financial prosperity or whether we covet immaterial comforts, only that which is given to us from our Father in heaven can truly satisfy the soul.
What do you think? What crosses the line between enjoyment of rewards and coveting them? What are those things for you? How can you keep from crossing that line?