“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
– Jeremiah 29:11
One of the most perplexing issues facing Christians in the marketplace today is whether God wants us to be rich or poor. It is easy enough to find plenty of people using verses from Scripture, often out of context, to support either extreme.
Last week I heard two sermons touching on this issue:
One preacher expounded the virtues of the “health and wealth gospel.” He said the reason we don’t have riches and wealth is because we haven’t asked God for them.
The other preacher told the story of how he sold his big house, gave away everything, and moved his family into a small, two-bedroom apartment, implying that a life of poverty was more virtuous.
Ken Eldred, in his book, God is at Work, suggests that God’s view of prosperity is much more complex, and many have drifted while trying to understand it. He makes the excellent point that prosperity is neither moral nor immoral. It is amoral, or value-neutral.