Having the finer things in life can be wonderful…a blessing indeed! You have heard statements like, “If only I could win that million dollar Powerball, then all my troubles would be over!” Hollywood loves to flaunt the ideal of “the lifestyles of the rich and famous” to the detriment of those who sit outside gazing through the gate. Wealth is portrayed in terms of assets such as: money, houses, boats, cars, expensive jewelry, fine clothing, fur coats, Swiss bank accounts, and fine wine, etc. Everything needed is within their reach. Is that true prosperity? Does the true value of a man’s life consist of the things he has? Material possessions represent outward prosperity, but a harmonious life exemplifies inward prosperity.
Often, the very affluent find it hard to enjoy their worldly possessions; needless to say, wealth and worry come in pairs. Sleepless nights and stock market crashes leave very little in the way of security. Not to mention the sacrifice it takes to achieve such an elite financial status. Long hours at work compete with family time. They linger in the busyness of building a comfortable lifestyle at the risk of losing it all. Finely decorated houses perpetrate as homes with cracked foundations. Just like “throwing the baby out with the bath water” covering the cracks become a struggle. Duck-tape and bandages offer limited support. Eventually, the uncertainties of life come knocking at the door. Gaping holes in the walls and floors leads to collapse. The Bible reminds us that, “The blessings of the Lord makes one rich and added no sorrow” (Prov. 10:22). It takes a formidable person to perform this balancing act. Is it worth it?
A thin line exists between good fortune and inner prosperity. The first is predicated on the accumulation of things, while the second is influenced by matters of the heart. The condition of the heart is the guidepost for true wealth. Wealth begins in the heart of a man. A prosperous man’s heart is not lifted up against God. He realizes that it is “the Lord that gives him the power to get wealth” not of his own doing (Deut. 8:18). A prosperous man works diligently with his hands according to the Book of Proverbs (10:4). Diligent work is not overworking, nor does it mean becoming a workaholic, but knowing when enough is enough. Carefully, he tends to the social, emotional, and physical needs of his family. He consistently “honors the Lord with his substance and the first fruits of all his increase” (Prov. 3:9). His spiritual roots run deep, “like a tree planted by rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in due season, his leaf shall never wither, and everything he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).
A prosperous man keeps “the statues, commandments, as well as, the laws of the Lord.” He knows that they “serve as a testimony to his family and friends; a warning and …a blessing” (Prov. 19:7-11). He understands the value of family salvation. He prays steadfastly. He does not trust in other men, he depends on the guidance and redemptive power of the Lord God Almighty. He uses his creative powers for witty inventions. He is first a servant, than a leader. He is humble. He exercises good judgment in all his endeavors. He is prudent in business. He reads the Word of God in order to walk righteously before Him…to live.
A prosperous man is respectful to all. He has no ulterior motives…what you see is what you get. He is strong. He does not abuse his power as a man. He is genuine. He is caring. He is tender. His life aligns with his ministry. He is not selfish or greedy. He refrains from all appearances of evil. Idle words never drip from his lips; he uses the power of the tongue to uplift, admonish, and encourage. He is fierce, yet merciful. He loves God with all his heart. Therefore, he is able to truly love others.
Lastly, he realizes that “children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3). He is careful to leave a godly legacy to his offspring. He desires that all generations within his loins be recipients of the blessing. Mark this man…there you will find a prosperous man. Amen!
Written by Laura Alexander