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— “Give a thousand dollars to this ministry and God will return back to you 100 times.”

If I had one dollar for every time the above statement or something similar has been repeated on the airwaves I would be able to give away thousands of dollars! It’s what is called “prosperity teaching” The problem with this type of prosperity teaching is that it does not come from the Bible. Let’s try to have a clear understanding of what God desires for us to understand about prosperity when it comes to his material provision.

Let me first ask you this question. “What is the cause of poverty?” Think about your answer before you continue to read.

Maybe you answered poor economy, drought, cattle markets down, stock market crash or unemployment. I want to submit to you that none of these are the cause of poverty. These factors may cause you to be broke but not to live in poverty. You say, “What’s the difference?” In my way of thinking poverty is a mind set or way of life. Being broke however is a bump in the road, a temporary setback. It can happen to folks with a sound Biblical financial plan. It can happen because of circumstancesbeyond our control.

I want to list a few of what I call poverty principles. If you practice these principles you will live in poverty.

Laziness - This one pretty much explains itself.

Coveting - You want stuff that you can’t afford.

You do the no money down, no interest, no payment for six months thing.

Self-defeating thoughts - There are plenty of these thoughts that contribute to poverty.

Poor stewardship - Good stewardship is understanding that everything they have came from God.

And God is allowing them to use it.

What does good stewardship look like? Be generous and share, don’t waste, save, invest, give back to God at least a tithe (10 percent of your income). That means if you make $30,000 then at least $3,000 should be given to the church (And no God will not guarantee that you will get back 100 times that!).

Here is a bigger motivator than that. You are investing in eternal things and not temporal things. It shows God that you are a steward that is responsible and He can give you even more because you have proven yourself to be responsible.

Wherever you are right now financially, whether you are broke or are living a lifestyle of poverty, I encourage you to sit tall in the saddle. Choose these prosperity principles. God will take care of you.

Church, Pages 2 on 11/25/2009

Print Headline: Pastor’s Corner What is true prosperity?

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