“God wants us to prosper financially, to have plenty of money, to fulfill the destiny He has laid out for us.” – Joel Osteen
Before I begin, I want this to be very clear, the life of a Christian is not going to automatically be pure misery. Many people I know live a good life as a Christian, and I am one of them. There is much joy in Christianity, and if we have the right attitude we will be some of the happiest individuals on the planet. The joy of heaven, and the confidence in our Lord and Savior is going to help us get through the sorrows of life, and it is a beautiful thing!
Now with all of that said, we need to get something very clear. There is this thing that some like to call the ‘Prosperity Gospel’, and this is a very dangerous concept to have. Mr. Osteen is probably the primary face of this type of thinking and it is a sad mindset to have. Some of the concept comes from the idea of “You reap what you sow.” Now this sounds very convincing that if you put a lot of time and effort into God, then He is going to allow you to prosper financially and physically in this life. Because after all, you reap what you sow do you not? Unfortunately this concept is completely out of context and is not true. In fact there is a passage in Galatians 6:7 that does say, “…for whatever a man sows, this He will also reap.” But what is the problem? The problem is if we stop there then maybe Mr. Osteen’s logic makes sense. But if you literally just read one more verse you will understand that that if you are sowing in your own flesh, you are going to reap corruption! If you sow in the Spirit, you will reap eternal life.
Look, the Bible talks of many Christians, and very few of them will not go through any kind of trial. In fact some of the strongest Christians go through the hardest lives on earth, and never really reap bountifully with riches (Paul for instance). The Bible talks of rich people that Jesus requests giving up their riches for Christianity (The rich young ruler for instance). Is it bad to have riches on earth? Of course not. But in no way are we ever promised that we will live a good life on earth if we are faithful. We need to reap in the Spirit, rather than in the world. Because we may not have a good life as Christians, but you had better believe we can have the happiest life possible because of our hope in eternal life.
- Adam M. Warnes