Thoughts About Wealth & Prosperity
There are a number of Bible verses which imply that prayer can bring about good fortune. However, we must remember that God’s will is primary to our desires.
I have noticed that some of the most successful business people I know have a strong Christian faith. Others, however, seem to have no faith at all.
It is difficult to wrap our minds around the concept of unkind people profiting in this world. However, evil forces have enjoyed material profit for a very long time, mostly through the persecution and oppression of others. This would not be of God’s will. So, how do we resolve this in our faith?
I can tell you that from counseling people, money truly cannot buy happiness. Those who seek the happiness of others and provide a service accordingly are those with the greatest treasure of this world and our heavenly world. The miserable and paranoid narcissist who tramples others for financial gain is rarely happy. A nervous clog of anxiety roils within their gut and their soul.
In life, we become what we respect and worship. If a person loves and respects God, they will become closer to God. If they love and worship money, they likely will acquire money. They may distance themselves from God in the process but a sole focus on money will surely produce money. The question is, do you want to be that person?
In contrast to such a person are those who live a life of service to others. If a person is involved in a great service to other people, then wealth may follow, as it has for some of the business world’s finest people. Dave Thomas of Wendy’s comes to mind, along with Truett Cathy, the Servant Leader who founded Chick-Fil-A.
God gave those men financial resources and success because God knew they would do great things with those resources. Dave Thomas, an adopted child, provided great support for adoption efforts. Mr. Cathy raised a highly-profitable organization based on family values. Only employees of Chick-Fil-A can buy stock in the company. Servant Leadership means elevating all people, so the person wiping down tables at a restaurant has every opportunity to grow within the company as any executive. People come before profits.
It is possible to grow in wealth by growing your level of positive service to others. You can take life’s many shortcuts and acquire wealth through uncaring and brutal methods but you will only distance yourself from God and lose the respect of people who value decency.
What matters in life is not how much you acquire but what you’ve done to help others. God, in his infinite wisdom, has designed our lives so we can only serve God by serving and helping other human beings. God needs nothing from us. We must serve others, if we are to serve God. Rather cagey of the Creator, huh?
When we die, we are all even on the scale of material and wealth. What matters is what we are leaving behind in positive influence on our fellow humans. That’s our gold in heaven. Worshiping the gold of Earth is like those who find fool’s gold, a mineral known a pyrite, which only has the illusion of value.
Here are some Bible verses about wealth and prosperity, thanks to the pastor at Clay Church, a UMC in South Bend, Indiana.
1. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Learn something every day. If you only lean on your own knowledge in your business, you will not be able to grow. You must grow yourself to grow your business
2. “Behold, I am doing something new! It’s already happening; don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land.” Isaiah 43:19 (GOD’S WORD® Translation) Sometimes your business will need to move as the market pulls you in a different direction. You might need to reinvent your business, and you should not be afraid. God’s always got your back.
3.”Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NIV) One of the most important things you can do for your business is to pray every day.
4. “Faith without works is dead.” James 2:26 (KJV) You can’t just pray for success. Develop a plan and work your plan. If you can do something about your situation, then do it. Stop making excuses, stop procrastinating, and do it!
5. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV) There will be contracts that you really need that you will not win. There will be days when you drop the ball on your customer service, but you can not let that define you or your business. You will get another opportunity and even if you don’t, God is with you always.
6. “As I think in my heart, so am I.” Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV) Your thoughts can be your number #1 asset or your biggest liability. When you are alone in your office or back bedroom, your thoughts can easily turn on you. Your ability to stay positive, learn from all experiences and shake off mistakes quickly will be a big asset to you and your business.
7. “God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) Making decisions in your small business based on fear is never helpful. For that matter making decisions in anger is not good either. Try hard not to be reactionary with clients, vendors or employees. Use factual information and up-to date financials to make sound business decisions.
8. “But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day.” Habakkuk 2:3 (TLB) You need to understand that God’s time is not your time. There may come a time in your business when you just know you have a contract, one that you really need and things fall through. Those are the times when you need to trust in the Lord the most. When we accept God’s timing, we can learn to live in hope and enjoy our lives while God is working on our problems.
9. “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;” Proverbs 3:13 (NIV) You need to be a life long learner in order to be successful in business. You should constantly seek to improve yourself and increase your knowledge about the business of running a business.
10. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV) This is my new bible verse for 2010. It came to me watching a college football game. I believe I was only watching the game to see it.