“And constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
-1 Timothy 6:5-8
God can and does bless people, but we are not to see a relationship with him as a means of acquiring wealth. In this passage we are told that those who do so are _depraved_ and deprived of truth. Once our perspective is skewed to believe that the gospel is about ‘prosperity’ or ‘power to get wealth,’ we have twisted our very perception of God. Our thoughts determine who we are (Proverbs 23:7), and so, a corrupted perception of God will inevitably contaminate everything that we do. Consider that much of church leadership today preaches endlessly about prosperity but remains entirely silent on some of the glaring signs of the times. The pursuit of financial status has become the main focus of the gospel, with some self-help philosophy thrown in, making for a gospel which is self-serving and self-centered, one that does not resemble the gospel of self-denial that Christ Himself preached…
This in turn has led to an exodus of the truth from the ministry of the Word. It is now standard practice in mainstream ministry to avoid expository preaching and teaching in favor of topical preaching, so that subjects which may offend people can be sidestepped. Sin, morality, a deeper work of the cross in the life of the believer, holiness, consecration, and the relational protocols of scripture which require us to never condone or tolerate habitual sin among the saints are truths of which congregations are now largely deprived. thus sin rus rampant in the churches, and the emerging generations are rising without an absolute sense of ethics, morality, or of separation from the world and its carnality.
Even on the subject of prosperity very little is said that is not entirely defined and pursued in the world’s terms and exclusively within its system. God’s people are told to go after wealth and buy the poorly-built stick frame houses that have a useful lifespan of 40 years and will require extensive maintenance, instead of seeking out, or even creating alternative housing which is much more durable, sustainable, and affordable. Alternatives is exist in abundance, and in many cases these alternative are so much more affordable that families could own their home outright with no debt within a few years, or even build them with no debt at all. Consider this, and then take some time to think of every mode of ‘prosperity’ of which we commonly speak, and examine these ‘blessings’ in terms of whether they are conducive to a dependency on the world system. If there is a good deal of that dependency, then we must consider the possibility that these may not be the avenues we are to pursue if we are to be as free from the world’s systems as much as is possible.
The challenge: recommit to Biblical perspectives, pursue godliness, and think outside the box of how the world defines prosperity and how we ought to embrace it.