I know this is a touchy subject in some circles, but I recently read a blog article on the topic that started me thinking. When it comes to money and prosperity, I think I’m in the Rick Warren, author of the mega-successful Purpose-Driven Life (PDL), camp. He once said:
I don’t think it is a sin to be rich, it’s a sin to die rich. I want people to make as much money as they can as long as they give it away as much as they can.
I understood what he meant. Money is not to have/hoard/acquire but to give/use. He has an interview HERE that you should read. He talks about the decisions he and his wife made after the PDL money started rolling in. He made nine million dollars in royalties in the first three months!
First, we decided we would not change our lifestyle one bit no matter how much money came in. So I still live in the same house I’ve lived in for 15 years and I still drive the same Ford truck, have the same two suits, I don’t have a guest home, I don’t have a yacht, I don’t own a beach house, we just said that we aren’t going to use the money on ourselves.
Second, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, I added up all the church had paid me over the past 25 years and gave it all back. I gave it all back because I didn’t want anyone thinking that I did it for money. And I knew that God was raising me up to a position of prominence. I knew I was going to be under the spotlight and I wanted to live a life beyond reproach. So we gave it all back and the very next week it was either Time or Newsweek came and did an interview of me and the very first question they asked was, “What is your salary?” I was able to say honestly I’ve been able to serve my church free for 25 years. It felt so good to bust that stereotype.
Kay and I became reverse tithers. When we got married 30 years ago, we began tithing 10%. Each year we would raise our tithe 1% to stretch our faith: 11% the first year, 12% the second year, 13% the third year. Every time I give, it breaks the grip of materialism in my life. Every time I give, it makes me more like Jesus. Every time I give, my heart grows bigger. And so now, we give away 90% and we live on 10%. That was actually the easy part, what to do with the money–just give it away, because I’m storing up treasures in heaven.
You’ll have to read the article for the rest of the interview. My question for you is where do you stand on the prosperity gospel? Does it include driving through exclusive neighborhoods claiming houses and cars that will some day be yours? Is it looking to be a funnel that passes on the blessings of God to others? Or is your position some combination of the two?