What The Prosperity Teachers Get Right

I don’t think that prosperity teachers are helpful at all. In fact, I think that they’re downright dangerous and misleading. The gospel is not about health, wealth, vigor, and prosperity.

But…

I recently read Proverbs 11:24-25, which reads:

One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

God doesn’t promise prosperity and blessing. He doesn’t promise sunshine and rainbows and Skittles. But on the flip side, God does reward those who give generously. He blesses those who delight to bless others. He pours out kindness on those who pour themselves out for others.

Those who are stingy will find that God is stingy toward them, and those who are generous will be on the receiving end of God’s generosity.

I don’t think this passage is referring strictly to spiritual blessings, although I’m sure that’s included. It seems to be saying that, generally speaking, God delights to give bless, in many different ways, those who are generous. Sometimes the blessings will be spiritual, like a deeper, richer communion with Christ. Other times the blessings will be material, like money to pay off your bills at the end of the month or take a getaway with your wife.

Growing up, my dad always said to me, “You can’t out-give God.” I love that. You can’t be more generous than God. God rewards those who give generously and without reservation. Sometimes God pours out spiritual blessings. Other times God pours out material blessings.

God is generous with those who are generous, and he withholds from those who withhold. When God sees a generous heart, he sees a reflection of himself, which brings him joy. God delights in blessing those who reflect his generosity.

I want a generous heart. Don’t you?

  • http://landryglaubemann.blogspot.com Landry Glaubemann

    As I love to be the first here to comment, I will just say Amen for this Post

    • http://twitter.com/stephenaltrogge @stephenaltrogge

      Thanks Landry!

  • http://joshcousineau.com Josh Cousineau

    It seems like the motive is the issue. The prosperity guys are about ‘getting’ from God. And yes God does give, more then we will ever be able to give,ie Jesus. But of in our giving it is merely to ‘get’ God, or to have some sort is collateral then we are missing point. Seems like that is where many get it wrong.

    Good word Stephen, thanks.

    • http://www.theviewfrommychair.blogspot.com John Kuvakas

      Well said and so true!

    • http://twitter.com/stephenaltrogge @stephenaltrogge

      Hey Josh,

      I mostly agree. I obviously don't think we should give to God just so that we can get something from him. But isn't getting a reward part of the biblical motivation? God promises to bless those who give. I want to receive that blessing, so I give. That doesn't seem unbiblical to me. Am I missing something?

      • http://atmospherechurch.com/blog JoshCousineau

        Yeah I would say that our motivation is many times based in what we will get. But isn't it we have been blessed therefore we give. Yeah we are still going to receive more blessings but the blessing that drives us is Jesus and what has been given. I am not disagreeing with you, I am merely trying to emphasis the point that we give because we have been blessed, not only because we will be blessed. If our motivation is based 'what we will get' but what we 'have been given'. Subtil difference, yet needed I think. Does that make sense…?

  • Elaine

    Thanks for the post, Stephen; it's a great encouragement.

    Generosity is something we pray for regularly and we have been blessed by the Lord sending many people into our lives who have served us as models of His generosity. They usually were not the wealthest people we know or the healthest for that matter, but they all have shared a love for the Savior which provoked them to share whatever He had given them. We've learned over the years, from His Word but also through the way He cares for us, that the Lord always provides exactly what is best, no matter our health or financial situation. He has given us Himself and that is more than enough.

    • http://twitter.com/stephenaltrogge @stephenaltrogge

      Hey Elaine,

      You guys are some of the most generous people that I know. You clearly have learned what it means to have a generous heart!

  • Danny

    I just ripped Job out of my Bible. Love this internet thing.