Many Survive Affliction. Few Survive Affluence
The last few episodes, we have talked about bankruptcy, and the financial, mental and emotional challenges that can be associated with it.
But there is one thing that can be even scarier than bankruptcy: Affluence
How many times have you heard from others, or possibly you thought or prayed for wealth and prosperity?
We long for money and wealth so that we don’t need to depend on anyone. These desires are understandable and we can appreciate them, but we often do not understand how dangerous prosperity can be to our souls.
“Adversity has slain her thousands. But Prosperity her ten thousands” – Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices
The Dangers of Prosperity
BIBLICAL EXAMPLES AND PASSAGES
(Listen to this episode to hear these examples explained)
- Nebuchadnezzar: “Look at this kingdom which I HAVE built…” Daniel 4:30–33 he said, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?”
- Parable of the prodigal son: He got his inheritance, his prosperity, and it ended up ruining him.
- Ananias and Sapphira: They wanted to impress others with their “spirituality” and their “generosity.” They lied, and God judged them on the spot! (Acts 5:1-11)
- Simony: Simony is the buying or selling of something spiritual or closely connected with the spiritual. The term comes from Simon Magus, who tried to buy the power of conferring the gifts of the Holy Spirit from the Apostles. The story of Simon Magus is described in the New Testament account in Acts 8:9–24.
- David and his children: Though we cannot say that wealth was 100% the issue with David’s children, but we surely can say that is was a factor. Specifically, we are looking at what the wealth of the father did to his kids. One son raped another daughter, and the brother of the daughter murdered that son, etc… Did money play into some of this debauchery?
- Abraham and Lot: Lot chose the land that was better (more fertile) because it would provide him more financial means, even though it brought him closer to spiritual peril. (Genesis 13)
- 1 Timothy 6:9: People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
- As we mentioned earlier, prosperity causes one to trust in themselves. WE provide the income. OUR work did it, not God! We can so easily forget God in our prosperity. We forget Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread…”
- Often, we feel like we deserve prosperity, even entitled to it! We indulge in many forms of luxury or sinful entertainment.
- There is a link between wealth and sexual immorality.
- “Motives having to do with money or sex count for 99% of the crimes committed in the USA. But those with money as their object outpoint sexual offenders by a ratio of 4:1″ (Randy Alcorn, Money Possessions and Eternity).
- Prosperity can distract us from our primary mission in life.
- We become more focused on our wealth, comfort, experiences, things that we become less engaged with the Lord’s work in and through the local Church! Our goal is TO MAKE DISCIPLES! Our prosperity can lead us away from from the Lord and His work that He has for us.
- Spoiled children from a large inheritance.
- Trust fund babies are individuals who inherit substantial wealth or assets, often face unique challenges related to trust and responsibility. With financial security readily available, they may struggle to develop a strong work ethic or a sense of purpose. Dependency on inherited wealth often hinders personal growth, as they may lack the drive to pursue their passions or contribute meaningfully to society. Additionally, the expectations and pressures associated with family wealth can strain relationships both in and outside the family and it usually leads to feelings, and actual isolation.
How to avoid the dangers of Prosperity
- Know the origin of riches. God has richly provided us with everything to enjoy. (1 Tim. 6:17)
- Put riches in their rightful place. Money and possessions are merely tools that we can use for the further glorification of God. (1 Tim. 6:18)
- Know where riches will end up. You can’t take anything with you.
- Give and get involved in the giving. Giving breaks the power of money.
- Take advantage of our free personal stewardship reviews so you can take your next steps to being a better steward.
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