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.
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?