In the book of Amos, God speaks (as he does in many of the minor prophets) about how the nation has gone astray by the way they treat the poor.
Jesus speaks of feeding hungry people, clothing naked people, and visiting imprisoned people. Why? Because to do for the “least” is to do for the Lord.
God is very serious about the use of financial and material blessings for common good. In Acts we see believers selling what they have to give to those in need.
Jesus tells us that we cannot serve both material and Him. It is one or the other, never both.
The real life problem is that we know this, yet somehow we still struggle to live out the difference. In our culture it is impossible to not struggle with the pressures of prosperity.
Here is how prosperity pressures us…
1. The more you have the more you must do.
If you have a house, you have to clean it or you are a poor steward. The bigger the house…the longer the time or more expensive the pay to keep it clean. Same is true with cars and yards and boats and fields, etc.
2. The more you do the less you realize what you do not do.
The busier you are doing what you “have” to do the less you realize that you are not doing what you “have” to do. We get so busy doing what we have to do because of what we have we fail to realize what we are not doing.
3. The more you do with what you have the more you desire to have more to do with.
The more you focus on what you have, even in the simple realities of the care of it, the more you see what is not there. A nice house, but it needs a new porch…or new carpet…or new paint. There is always greater and better which robs us of the joy of contentment.
That is the pressure of prosperity. The problem is that it is a subtle and silent life killer. Prosperity lulls us away from God’s purpose for us and dulls us to God’s calling for our lives and we never knew it happened.
So beware the pressure of your own prosperity. Be grateful for, not given to, what you have been blessed with. Be given to the One who blessed you with it.