3 crippling mindsets when it comes to material prosperity
The Bible tells us that Christ came so that we could live abundant lives in Him. Many Christians are unable to fully live this way, however, because of some wrong mindsets relating to material prosperity. Such mindsets don't allow us to enjoy what God has in store for us.
Did you know that it's possible for a Christian to be a child of God yet deprive himself of God's great provisions? Luke 15 tells us of such an example - the prodigal son's older brother.
"So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.'
"And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours."" (Luke 15:29-31)
That older brother stayed inside his father's home and actually had access to all of his father's riches, but didn't enjoy them. I pray that unlike him, we'd all access what God has in store for us.
That said, we have to enjoy what our Father in heaven has prepared for us in Christ, we've got to have the right mindsets. We can do this by ridding ourselves of these crippling mindsets that are part of what we call the "poverty mentality."
1) That it's wrong to be materially rich
First, we need to get rid of the thought that it's wrong to be blessed materially. There's nothing wrong with being blessed with so much blessing. God, in fact, wants us to be blessed beyond what we are able to hold! In Malachi 3:10, God tells us,
"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it."
2) That a desire to have money is always greed
Friends, we are told that the love of money is the root of all evil (see 1 Timothy 6:10). This greedy desire to have more and more money and material riches is very dangerous and should not be named in any Christ-follower.
On the other hand, a desire to have some money enough for daily provisions for self and family, and to give to others, is not wrong.
Farmers sow seeds hoping that they'll have a harvest later on. In the same way, working hard and looking forward to earning our keep is normal and is not wrong. Desiring to earn more than what is needed so that we can be a blessing isn't wrong either.
What is wrong is being greedy to the point of prioritizing income and receiving more than God.
3) That all Christians should be poor to please God
Some Christians think that it's godly and God-glorifying when they make themselves poor. I know this - I used to give away all that I owned thinking that the poorer I become, the closer I get to the Lord. Now I've found it to be so wrong and even displeasing to God.
The Lord Jesus indeed told many people to give their possessions to the poor, but it wasn't so that they'd be miserable. It's all about Lordship: who will be our master, God or money? Jesus said,
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Matthew 6:24)
That said, why would God promise to give His people an abundant life if He wanted us all to be poor and in lack? Christ became poor so that we'd all be made rich: children of our Father God who owns everything (see 2 Corinthians 8:9; 1 John 3:1)
While it's true that not all Christians will become financially rich, God promises to meet all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ (see Philippians 4:19).
Friends, God wants to bless us to His praise. That's just who He is: generous and kind, and desiring that His people would be a blessing to everyone He loves. All that He wants is for us to love and to trust in Him more than money, so that He can bless us to be a blessing to others as well.
I leave you with this command from the Lord Jesus Christ:
"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)