More than anything else, our attitude to life is forged on the anvil of our beliefs. Thoughts translate into things. Whatever takes hold of our mind, takes our life hostage. Consequently, the things we hold to be true can make or unmake us depending on whether our beliefs correspond with reality or not.
Unfortunately, so many Christians have a misguided understanding of how things work under the sun. They are mentally committed to unrealistic religious ideas about wealth creation that must be completely altered.
1. God Will Not Labour For You
A Christian friend I made after I taught about wealth creation, went on and on about why it is useless to listen to life coaches, motivational speakers and those who teach about principles of wealth creation. He had a concrete conviction that the outcome of life is purely a matter of destiny and that once a person becomes a Christian his financial prosperity is left in the hands of God. He quoted Philippians 4:19, and made a passionate decree: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I reminded him that the man who wrote what he quoted did not receive a single supply of any material resource from heaven in a mysterious way; rather, as a tentmaker (Acts 18:3) he worked very hard to pool resources to finance his missionary activities.
He was shocked! He was living in self-deception thinking that God was responsible for his prosperity. Christians must understand that God’s responsibility in our prosperity relates to the gifts and talents we have received as natural deposits. And these gifts and talents are common to all people irrespective of age, race, educational status or religious affiliation. The world is a leveled field where the difference-maker for financial prosperity is about getting things done according to what the times require. It is about creating and selling value.
Wisdom is the key that helps to discern between what one must take responsibility for and what is appropriate to expect from God. It is unwise to hope for the best if you are not working towards it. Hope is not a strategy for making useful gains. It is an unfortunate exaggeration for anybody to think that their participation in religious activities will earn them financial rewards from God. Worship has its benefits but prosperity is a product of work. Smart living is for smart people.
There is no single character in the Bible who became prosperous without laboring for it. Abraham was extremely wealthy because he was an astute businessman, raring animals and dealing in mineral resources (Genesis 13:2). Apostle Paul wrote extensively about the grace of God. He made it very clear that the grace of God upon his life was not in vain because he laboured abundantly than all his colleagues (1Corinthians 15:10). Unfortunately, many Christians are using the grace factor as excuse to avoid hard work while waiting in vain in anticipation of supernatural delivery of prosperity which will never see the light of day. The hard truth is that, if you fail to labour under the guise of grace you will enter into disgrace. God is not your labourer. He will not perform your duties for you no matter how long you fast and pray. Be wise!
2. If Laziness Is the Cause Of Poverty, Prayer Is Not A Viable Solution
In Proverbs 6:6-11, the Bible teaches that laziness is the cause of poverty. Not only that, the context of the passage shows that being smart is necessary for living an abundant life. Many Christians are unproductive because they have developed unrealistic optimism about life. For example, some Christians think that demons are the cause of poverty and so they use prayer as a tool to reverse it. If prayer could cure poverty, Africa would have been a paradise by now.
Brains must start working here! People tend to press pause on thinking when issues related to faith are being discussed. At TOPVINCENT.COM, we encourage you not to put your brain on break. Rather, we expect you to step on the accelerator of your thinking faculty so that you will be able to make sense of truth and apply it for a better life. If laziness is the cause of poverty, then agile working is the solution to it. Watch our space for details regarding agile working. How to sweat less and make more gains. Wealth creation is a mental activity. It requires the activity of the mind more than muscle.
3. Between Investment and Generosity
The stroppy part of dealing with poverty among Christians is where they assume that if they give the little money they have to a pastor to spend or to support the Church, they will get back that money in multiple folds. That is not what you do to multiply your resources. You may do that to support your pastor but you must have a clear understanding of what you are doing and what you must expect from that. The blessing which is promised in return for the practice of generosity is not a multiplication of what is offered. It could be in any form. But the sure way to multiply financial resources is to invest them in a line of production where those resources are turned around in a productive manner for profitable financial returns.
Giving is good and even unbelievers know and practice it. However, there is a difference between investment and helping the poor. Putting your resources to work in a lucrative productive venture is what reproduces more. Giving to the poor is not a method of reproduction. Yes! It is more blessed to give than to receive because only the one who is blessed can give. Giving your money for another to spend is not a means of doubling money anywhere in the world. It is a way of making the world a better place for everyone. The bottom line is that: Biblical generosity is not an alternate financial investment model.