The BRIEF Biblical
Guide to Prosperity



Christians come from and are in all categories of socioeconomic strata. A person can be poor and be a Christian and a person can be rich and be a Christian. In general it is better to be prosperous than to be in want. The Bible tells us that it is good to leave an inheritance even to our grandchildren:

"A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.'' (Proverbs 13:22, NKJV throughout unless noted).

We are told that houses and riches are the inheritance from parents but only God can give a prudent wife:

"Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.'' (Proverbs 19:14).

One of the great principles regulating prosperity is Proverbs 21:17:

"He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;  He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.''

If pleasure is at the top of our value system, we are likely to be poor. Just look around in the world and see the throngs who flock to every amusement park, state fair, movie theatre or fun house. How many of them have enough money in the bank to survive even one month if they lost their job? If you love expensive consumables like "wine and oil" you are not likely to be rich.

The Pitfalls of Pleasure

When people put pleasure first, they often will neglect to do those things that are important for prosperity - namely work.

The Bible says, " . . . But much increase comes by the strength of an ox." (Proverbs 14:4). This is the principle of utilizing power instruments. For instance, the strength of an ox can help a farmer plough far more than he could by his own physical strength. Thus a tractor helps the farmer plough, plant and even harvest far more than he could manually. The same can be said for high-speed printers, computers, and other tools that provide "strength" or "power" to do work! One is foolish not to use them.

First Things must come FIRST!

We are told that "in all labor there is profit" (Proverbs 14:23). While all work is profitable, it is important to realize that some duties have far greater payoffs than do others. Making sure that we do those things that have the highest benefit first is important. But the rest of this proverb says, "But idle chatter leads only to poverty." Talk with no work gets nothing done. All the talk in the world will accomplish nothing if no action is taken to complete any plans.

"He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows frivolity (worthless pursuits) will have poverty enough! " (Proverbs 28:19).

Again we are told that doing the profitable things first will result in prosperity (plenty of bread). But following "worthless pursuits" will lead to plenty of poverty. How can one tell the difference? It takes "wisdom" to discern what are "worthless pursuits" and what actions will bring prosperity.

With Diligence comes Blessings

The Bible tells us that being diligent - day in and day out - will eventually lead to leadership and prosperity:

"The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor. " (Proverbs 12:24, NKJV).

It teaches us that one cannot be careless and have a "hit and miss" attitude toward responsibilities in work.

"He who has a slack hand becomes poor . . . '' (Proverbs 10:4).

Laziness and Poverty

Laziness brings on poverty. Sleeping during the time one should be harvesting will bring poverty like an armed robber:

"How long will you slumber, O sluggard?  When will you rise from your sleep?  A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep — So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man." (Proverbs 6:9-11)

We are told that the sluggard will not plow for the cold and that the love of sleep will create want:

"The lazy man will not plow because of winter;  He will beg during harvest and have nothing. . . . Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;  Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.'' (Proverbs 20:4, 13).

Honesty IS the best Policy!

The Bible teaches also that honesty really is the best policy in business dealings. Getting riches by lying will not last:

"Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death. The violence of the wicked will destroy them, because they refuse to do justice.'' (Proverbs 21:6-7).

Treasures gotten by wickedness will not profit and God HATES diverse weights use in trade:

"Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death." (Proverbs 10:2)

"Diverse weights are an abomination to the LORD, and dishonest scales are not good." (Proverbs 20:23).

Money for GOOD

While it is good to be prosperous we are also told that we should use our money for good. To give to the really poor and to those who have run into circumstances through no fault of their own is a good thing:

"He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses'' (Proverbs 28:27).

When you give in the service of God you make God your partner:

"Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase;  So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. '' (Proverbs 3:9-10).

Is there anything BETTER than RICHES?

There are things that are better than riches and we need to heed the Biblical wisdom regarding them. A good name is better than riches:

"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.'' (Proverbs 22:1).

To protect one's reputation is paramount. To forge that reputation is also very important.

Wisdom is better than gold (16:16) as we are instructed:

"How much better to get wisdom than gold!  And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.'' (Proverbs 16:16).

So, should there be a choice between become wealthy or becoming wise, one should always choose the wisdom.

There are things money cannot buy. One of them is a prudent wife. Parents can give an inheritance but only God can supply a prudent wife (Proverbs 19:14). And of all the decisions one makes in this lifetime, the choice of a mate is probably the most important in determining one's overall happiness and contentment as well as success.

The Deception and Illusion of Wealth

Riches can be deceiving. There is an illusion regarding them. They seem to be a fortress (Proverbs 10:15) and the rich man thinks they are a high protective wall (Proverbs 18:11). But they do not profit in the day of wrath (Proverbs 11:4). And the person who trusts in his riches will fall (Proverbs 11:28).

"The rich man's wealth is his strong city;  The destruction of the poor is their poverty."  (Proverbs 10:15)

"The rich man's wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his own esteem."
(Proverbs 18:11)

"Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death."
(Proverbs 11:4)

"He who trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage."
(Proverbs 11:28)

The wisdom collected in Proverbs says to ask for neither riches nor poverty but just enough to be sufficient:

"Lest I be full and deny You, And say, 'Who is the LORD?'  Or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God.'' (Proverbs 30:9).

If too little, one would be tempted to steal. If too much, one could be tempted to forget that s/he needs God.

The Love of Money

Finally we must be aware that to love money is to open ourselves to a root of all evils:

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

"But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1Timothy 6:6-10).

Love God. Use money for good. Be helpers to one another:

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