Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)
Google the word “prosperity” and you’ll get over 63 million hits. Google the word “God” and there are 385 million hits. Whew, at least God commands more attention.
Research the meaning and terms such as abundance, worldly possessions, riches, good fortune, treasures—or the opposite—poverty, debts, scarcity, shortage, lack are read.
Prosperity is not the pursuit, rather, it’s the culmination of a life lived fully in the Spirit.
When I look around my neighborhood, it appears we all are in pursuit of the good life. Nice lawns, freshly painted houses, toys in the driveway, activities after school, and lots of vacations. But venture inside my neighbor’s life, would I hear another story, one of worries, shortage or lack?
Over the years I have prayed fervently for ‘more’. More money to meet financial needs, more money to meet financial debts. Interestingly enough, my prayers have been answered. I am experiencing more financial abundance now….along with more financial obligations. Bills have climbed as college costs have soared, retirement needs loom near,
wedding plans are being made, and parents are aging. I have a bigger mortgage, three cars instead of one, and I just bought a new computer.
Have my financial ‘needs’ outgrown my pocketbook? Yes. In an attempt to scale back, I constantly second guess myself at income versus obligations: At what point is enough, enough?
The answer to “enough” comes through prayer. In my morning prayers, when I give thanksgiving for my life, my prosperity is revealed: an active relationship with God, a loving marriage, great kids, a wonderful extended family and many friends.
And in this moment of communion with God, I am gently reminded that material prosperity is not the goal, but the pursuit of a relationship with God. From that relationship comes forth all good things. Prosperity does not eliminate problems and disappointments in my life. There will always be challenges.
For instance, when I compare my prosperity with my neighbor’s, it falls short. The comparison leaves me feeling inadequate, envious or worried. When I connect prosperity to the balance in my checkbook, than that, too, will disappoint during times of great need. Sometimes unexpected doctor’s bills or car repair bills, illnesses or job losses enter into our life or the life of someone close to us which challenges our finances.
Only when I actively pursue a life rich in Spirit do I come close to achieving a prosperity rooted in peace and trust.
By trusting in God to provide, I feel at peace. As God provides, that trust and peace extends to those around me. As my relationship with others deepens, occurrences happen in my daily life that gives rise to opportunities that may increase my material and spiritual abundance…which brings me full circle to God as provider of my prosperity.
Which is enough.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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