The United States of America is often described as a “land of opportunity and prosperity.” Many businesses and companies in the USA have documented a “prosperous year.” In fact, over the centuries, many individuals from the United States of America have been called, “very prosperous.”
But the question I have for you is, “When you hear the word, ‘prosperity,’ what does that mean to you?” When you hear that word, what do you think of? Perhaps a better question might be, “Are you a prosperous person?”
Most people equate the word “prosperity” and the phrase “being prosperous” with money. In other words, the more money you have, the more prosperous you are. If you are lacking money, then you are lacking prosperity. But what is the standard?
The dictionary definition of “prosperous” is, “having success, flourishing, well off, favorable.” And, biblically, to prosper simply means to have success.
But what exactly is the standard? Who decides what is or isn’t prosperity? How do you know if you are a prosperous person? You are the only one who can define prosperity for you. The fact is, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about your life. What matters is what you think. It really is totally up to you to determine what being prosperous means for you.
There are two major downfalls in defining prosperity. The first is the most common. It is called “denial.” That’s when people know that they are not prospering like they want to, but, they see no way to get there. So, they decide to just settle for what they have now, and try to convince themselves, and everyone else, that they are content.
You hear phrases like, “Oh, I don’t really need this or that. I can get by without it. I’m really happy with what we have and where we’re at.”
I am not talking about being grateful for the things that you have, neither am I in any way judging anyone. Being grateful for what you have is important. But, at the same time, this doesn’t mean you can’t be grateful, and still set your sights higher, too.
Every person really needs to determine what prosperity is for them. A lot of people who would like to see more prosperity in their life have decided to just settle for what they have now, and then call that prosperity. That’s just not honest. That is denial.
The other downfall in defining prosperity is the total opposite. It is called, “greed.” These are people who think that prosperity means acquiring everything that they can possibly get their hands on. In other words, no matter what they have, it is never enough. They have a, “whoever gets the most, wins” attitude. That is greed.
I do not pass judgment on people who have a lot of wealth. No one has the right to judge the rich or the poor. As I said, each person needs to define what prosperity means for them. But isn’t it interesting that for the most part, society hates those who have a lot, and feels sorry for those with lack?
Those who have read the Bible know that there are many promises of prosperity in the Scriptures. Time and time again you can read promises of abundance. And, there are also warnings to watch out for greed. But too often, the Christian world has focused only on the warnings about greed and ignored the promises about prosperity and abundance.
Good, sincere, God loving people have been taught that to want any more than what they have right now is just being greedy. If that is true, then who are all those promises of abundance from God intended for?
When it comes to your prosperity, you are the only one who can define it. You simply decide what you want in your life. And, if along the way, you decide to change and redefine it, then go ahead and redefine it. It is your prosperity!
Since God has promised us prosperity, I really believe that it is something that is between you and God. Don’t pay attention to those who judge you. It is none of their business!
Just stay honest with God, and avoid both downfalls: greed and denial. Remember that He wants you to prosper. His supply is endless, and so is His love for you.