I read an interesting post the other day called “Have you Ever Prayed for your Sports Team to Win?”. The post and the comments caused me to reflect on how detailed God is in our lives and whether or not he wants us to prosper.
The Book of Mormon is full of stories of people obeying Gods commandments, becoming prosperous, turning away from God, and then losing their faith. Also, I’ve heard many Christians say that proud people are rich and God wants a humble people. Finally, scriptures such as 1 Timothy 6:10 are quoted often alluding to the fact that money is a sin.
Personally I feel that those who think wealth is a sin are wrong. I feel that God wants us to be successful and rich as long as it is done in the proper order. That order is as follows:
- Seek the Kingdom of God
- Strengthen Yourself
- Strengthen Others
Seek the Kingdom of God
Jacob 2:18-19 reads:
18 But before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God.
19 And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do
good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.
In addition, Matthew 6:33
admonishes us to seek first the kingdom of God and he’ll then bless us with what we need.
Alma 34:24-25 discusses praying for prosperity over our livelihood. For me, I compare this with the scripture in Luke 22 that discusses once you are converted, to strengthen your bretheren. How are we to help other people if our own houses are not in order and if we don’t have means to take care of ourselves and our families?
Once we are established by putting God’s kingdom first and also have enough means for ourselves we are then in a situation where we can bless the lives of others more richly. It is important to note here that all along we should be paying tithing and giving some extra along the way, but what I am writing about here is the excess money we make.
In my opinion, these scriptures show that God does want us to be happy and to prosper, if that’s what we want.
However, he first wants us to seek Him and turn our hearts to him so that if and when we do prosper, we will use the money how He would have us use it. If we don’t have financial ground to support ourselves, how are we to bless the lives of others?
Recently, I had a conversation with one of my co-workers. She had been shadowing me and was asking me how I’m so successful in my job. I asked her if she really wanted to know the truth and she said she did. I asked her if she believed in God and she said she was a recent convert to Christianity. I then shared with her the scripture in Matthew 6:33
that tells us to seek the kingdom of God first and then He’ll provide for us. I told her about how I had started to schedule a lot of my sales presentations on Sundays since that was when many of the organizations had time to meet with me. However, I felt I wasn’t putting God first and that if I truly was converted I would put God first and honor the Sabbath by not working on that day. I called all my companies that were scheduled on Sunday for the year and cancelled them. This was a risky move, but I felt very good knowing that I was putting God first and then allowing Him to bless me how he saw fit. I then prayed that I would be successful. Not only did God bless me for putting Him first, but this year I’ve more than doubled the amount of sales that were projected had I kept the Sunday appointments.
I told her that it was by putting God first that we will be truly successful.
So in conclusion, I feel that God does indeed want us to be happy, successful, and rich as long as we are good stewards by putting him first, taking care of our own, and then taking care of others.