Holistic Prosperity: What It Is and What It's Not
Prosperity is the general word for successful living. It is flourishing, thriving, having good fortune, and abundance in a person's life. Unfortunately, some preachers preach the "prosperity gospel" without telling congregants that the word is not limited to just wealth, finances, and money.
To limit the word to mean only finances is misleading because there are other areas where a person can be prosperous. Wealth is maximized while the other areas are completely overlooked.
Third John 1:2 says:
"Beloved, I pray that in ALL respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers."
John mentions spiritual prosperity ("just as your soul prospers") and material prosperity ("that you may prosper in ALL areas of your life, including being in good health").
It shows that holistic prosperity goes way beyond financial prosperity. Actually, preachers should let people know that prosperity includes every area of our lives including being physically, emotionally, mentally, relationally, socially, professionally, and spiritually prosperous.
You will see in the explanations below that some of the areas overlap. They all should work together in order for you to have holistic prosperity. Job 36:11 lets us know that "if we obey and serve God, we shall spend our days in prosperity and years in pleasures."
God planned abundance for us in every area of our lives and not just in the area of finances. However, wealth tops the list. Whenever someone mentions prosperity, money is the first thing people think about, but that isn’t all Jesus had in mind.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be financially prosperous to be able to provide for our families, to help those in need, and support the work of the kingdom of God here on earth. A problem exists when we want to spend it all on ourselves without being good stewards over our finances.
God wants us to take care of our bodies. After all, our body is the temple of God, accord to Paul. He says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."
Therefore, we should take care of our bodies by eating right, exercising, and getting please of rest. That includes seeing a physician when we have health issues.
Unfortunately, many of us value other areas of our life more than our emotional health. Because we were made in the image of God, we should keep ourselves free from stress as much as possible.
Emotional prosperity involves being peaceful and joyful. Those two things come only from having an intimate relationship with God. When people are emotionally prosperous, they don't have to use antidepressants, tranquilizers, contemplate suicide, or use drugs and alcohol. When Jesus is in our lives, we won't need artificial substitutes to keep us going.
Mental prosperity is having a sound mind. It means casting down imaginations and being in control of your own thoughts. Paul told Timothy, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Timothy 1:7). Paul included a sound mind because a sound mind is a peaceful mind.
Relational prosperity simply means getting along with people and having a relationship with them. According to Genesis 2:18, it is not good for us to be alone. We should be in a relationship with family members, friends, co-workers, and those we come in contact with. Examine yourself and identify the reason you can't get along with most people and why most people can't get along with you.
Social prosperity means being in community with others. God demonstrates the value of community in Himself through the Trinity. God desires for the church to operate as a body working together in unity, according to Romans 12:4-5 and Ephesians 4:2-3.
Jesus was an example of one having social prosperity. He had close friends, including Lazarus, Martha, and Mary of Bethany. He ate with people, including sinners like Zacchaeus. He attended the wedding of Cana.
Jesus invites us to enjoy social prosperity by breaking bread with Him. He said in Revelation 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Everyone should want a career or a job where there is peace. No one wants to dread going to work every day. Some people have admitted they literally get sick on Sunday night when they think about going to work on Monday morning. That should not be. Everyone should enjoy professional prosperity by working in a healthy environment.
Research has shown that when we work in a pleasing environment, it often improves our self-esteem, improves our mental health, and we enjoy the connection we have with our boss, co-workers, clients, and other people we meet through work.
In order to be spiritually prosperous, we must go to God through His Son Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Savior and make Him the Lord of our life, we are in the right position to be in fellowship with God and God's people.
We are more able to deal with problems that come our way if our spirit is prospering. Spiritual prosperity is something that everyone should want. It is more valuable than money, and it has a positive impact on us. Our spirituality increases as we stay close to God and allow Him to have priority in our life. It is so much better than the stock market going up or having a winning lottery ticket.