Pitfalls of Prosperity

Christians in America have seen an unparalleled amount of material prosperity. No other brother or sister in Christ has ever experienced the ease of life that we do here. Many of us come from respectable communities, own large homes, and drive high-priced sport-utility vehicles. Undoubtedly, God has seen fit to bless many Christians living here with a great degree of material wealth.

While nothing is wrong with financial prosperity in and of itself, the amassing of wealth can breed dangers for the believer. In these ways, wealth becomes a detriment rather than a boon, a spiritual hinderance instead of a blessing.

Pitfall 1: Trusting in Money Rather than God for Provision.

Throughout Scripture, God shows His people that He unfailingly provides for their needs. 

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. (Matthew 6:25-26, ESV)

The tendency that many people have is to forget about God’s provision in times of plenty and to instead trust in their own bank accounts. No longer does God provide food, the paycheck does. Overtime at the office fills the gas tank. The promises of God are forgotten and His sovereingty in all things financial overlooked. Such a mistrust is an insult to God’s character, and in essense tells God that He is not capable of providing what is needed.

Pitfall 2: Loving Money Rather than God

Jesus told his disciples in Luke 16:13 that we cannot devote ourselves to both God and money. Always, we will end up loving one and hating the other. Not surprisingly, many try to straddle this straightforward dichotomy. It doesn’t work. You’re either a lover of money, or a lover of God – never both.

Pitfall 3: Greed’s Connection to Other, More Grevious Sins

The root of greed is idolatry, more specifically a sinful devotion to material assets. And at the core of idolatry is a love for one’s self. Paramount is the need to satisfy one’s fleshly lusts. 

Because of this, those who are enamored with money may also find themselves dabbling in other sins. If the flesh yearns for one appetite and is gratified, it will only hunger for another one. No amount of anything will ever satisfy it; such is the nature of the various lusts. Gratifying the flesh’s love for money will lead to spiritual ruin unless it is immediately remedied.

Only through the Grace provided by Jesus Christ can believers avoid these dangers.

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