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Poverty, Prosperity, Stewardship

Three Perspectives Contrasted

I know of three concepts of wealth principles; one leads to poverty, one leads to prosperity and one leads to stewardship.  For a long time I could clearly identify only the first two.  Stewardship remained vague in my mind until  Andy Jelmert, a friend of mine, defined all three succinctly, for which I am deeply grateful.

 

Poverty

Prosperity

Stewardship

View of Prosperity

Non-materialistic, disdane for possessions

Prosperity is the reward for the righteous

Possessions are a trust given in

Possessions are

A curse

A right

A privilege

Scriptural Reference

Luke 18:18-22
Jesus said, "Go, sell what you have and give it to the poor."

Matthew 7:7-8
Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given you."

Matthew 25:14-30
Jesus told the parable of the ten talents in which he commended stewardship.

Needs met by

"Carefree Attitude"
Matthew 6:25-30
Don't worry; seek the Kingdom of God first.

"Transaction"
Malachi 3:10
Tithe for a blessing

"Faithful Administration"
1 Corinthians 4:2,
 Matthew 25:21,23

Concept

Rejecter

Owner

Steward

Attitude towards poor

We are

We owe

We care

Preoccupation

Daily needs

Money

Wisdom

Correction

Proverbs 21:20
A wise man saves but a foolish man spends. 

Proverbs 23:4,5
Don't wear yourself out to get rich.

No correction

Attitude

Carefree
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust God with all your heart and acknowledge him.

Driven
Proverbs 10:7
The righteous will be remembered but the wicked will be scorned

Faithful
Luke 16:10-11
He that is faithful in little will be faithful in much


- by Andy Jelmert

 

POVERTY
People who are destined for poverty are those who have a disdane for possessions.  They are proud to be what they consider "non-materialistic."  They consider possessions a curse, and they base that on the scripture Luke 18:18-22 where Jesus told the rich, young ruler to sell all that he has and give it to the poor.  These people feel that what they need will simply be given to them, based on the scripture Matthew 6:25-30 where Jesus said to seek the Kingdom of God first (before your daily needs).  They reject wealth and consider themselves "poor, but rich in God's Kingdom." Although they quote Matthew 6:25-30, unfortunately they are preoccupied with their daily needs, "How will I pay the rent? How will I repair the car?  How will I pay the medical bills?" The scriptural correction to this concept is Proverbs 21:20, where God says a wise man gathers wealth but a foolish man spends it.  This proper attitude will lead to a greater trust in God and acknowledging him in your heart.

 

PROSPERITY
People who are destined for prosperity are those who consider prosperity is God's reward for the righteous. They are proud to be living as God intended.  They consider possessions a right, and they base that on the scripture Matthew 7:7-8, where Jesus said, "Ask, and it will be given you; Seek, and you will find; Knock, and it will be opened to you."  These people feel their needs will be met because they are doing what the Bible commands in relation to wealth.  To them, wealth is a transaction, "I give God what he commands and he gives me prosperity," based on Malachi 3:10.  Their attitude toward the poor is that they owe both support and training to the poor. These people are preoccupied with money and what they need to do to get it.  The scriptural correction to this concept is Proverbs 23,4-5, where God says we should not wear ourselves out trying to get wealthy.  This proper attitude will lead one to remember that a person is remembered for righteousness, not for great wealth. 

 

STEWARDSHIP
People who consider themselves stewards believe the are given possessions by God for proper administration.  Each is given wealth according to his ability and faithfulness in its administration.  To them, wealth and possessions are a privilege and responsibility.  They base that belief on the scripture Matthew 25:14-30, where Jesus told the parable of the three stewards; two were wise and doubled the money entrusted to them, but the third did not.  These people feel their needs will be met by God because they are careful to faithfully administer God's trust.  They consider themselves stewards and the poor to be those for whom God cares.  They are preoccupied with wisdom and how to serve God with their possessions.   There is no scriptural correction to this concept; it stands as is.  This proper attitude will lead to God entrusting you more and more as you prove faithful in what you have. 

 

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