Defining Prosperity

Welcome  I recently found myself contemplating the idea of prosperity.  In the past year, after leaving my “normal” job, I’ve been seeking a balance between peace and acceptance.  In this process, I began to wonder if there was more to being prosperous than how the world defines prosperity.  After all, I want my definition of prosperity to align more with God’s philosophy, than that of the rest of the world.  So it was time to do some digging and study more about what this word means.  I’m going to share a few of my findings today.  Thanks for joining me.

Food For Thought  To begin, I needed to look up the actual definition of the word prosperity.  I find so many dictionary definitions laughable, because they don’t really explain anything.  This would be one of those instances.  The definition given for prosperity was, “the state of being prosperous.”  No kidding!  So I perused the list of synonyms given, which included wealth, success, affluence, riches, security, luxury, well-being, and a few others.  As I suspected, the definition of prosperity focused mostly on monetary gain.  Now I’m not saying I wouldn’t enjoy making some money, any money really, from my writings.  But I have been more interested in this question: Can I still be considered prosperous in other areas of my life, while not increasing my financial worth?  This would be the cue to look at scripture and see if there’s a more spiritual definition of prosperity that I can identify and apply to my life.  Please do not confuse this question with the concept of “prosperity gospel,” which is a completely different topic in religion.

According to Faith In God Daily, there are over 100 verses in the Bible addressing the topic of prosperity.  When we look in scripture, we can see that prosperity is a God-given blessing, as in Jeremiah 29:11, when God promises His plans will prosper you and not harm you.  We are often use this verse as an anchor of hope, knowing that God has the best of intentions for each of us and the lives we’re living.  But as I cross-referenced verses with the word “prosperity,” I found that in some instances, to prosper had nothing to do with money or riches.  As in 3 John 1:2, to prosper may also mean to be in good health.  I know many people that would be very grateful to be prosperous in good health, me included!  Possibly my favorite verse about prosperity is the King James Version of Psalm 1:3: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”  Whatsoever he doeth…  Now that’s what I’m talking about…our works.  I am loving this truth that God will bless my work and make it prosperous, by His definition, bringing forth the fruit of the season.

Psalm 1:3 is a pretty broad verse, and could mean different things for different people.  And that’s okay…this is a blessing for those who delight in the law of the Lord (verse 2).  While I’m far from perfect, I do have the faith and belief that God can, and will, allow me to prosper in my endeavors, especially if I’m trying my best to work for Him.  This is real prosperity.

I found in my study of Biblical prosperity, that there are several different meanings for this word.  Prosperity does sometimes mean wealth and riches in scripture.  Other times, it means abundance or provision.  And in some other verses it means favor with God.  Favor with God sounds pretty amazing, being of much more importance than acquiring financial wealth.  I also found another key piece to prosperity is blessing others.  While we are blessed with success, riches, or talents from God, His intention is for us to turn around and bless others with these things, to the best of our abilities.  We are not hoarding our gains, as the foolish rich man does in the parable found in Luke 12:16-21.  As we are blessed with abundance and become prosperous, we too shall bless others.

So now I can look back at my original question: Is there more to being prosperous than just gaining worldly riches?  Absolutely!  If it shall be in God’s Will to make me prosperous in the financial area, that’s a wonderful gift.  But I can still be prosperous without being rich.  God can and will bring me success as a mother and wife, helping guide and shape my family’s faith walk.  God may bring me success in my works as a spiritual writer or encourager to other women.  God may bring me success as a teacher of children, whether in academic areas or Bible studies.  God may guide me to work and prosper in girls’ ministries and mentorship.  God may bring me prosperity in health and wellness or peace and tranquility.  While it is likely I will never get “rich” in any of these areas of life, I can still be richly blessed with these successes.

What are your prosperity goals?

Today’s Scripture  I referenced a few different passages, but I want to leave you with a Proverb of wisdom as we conclude our topic of prosperity.

Proverbs 28:25  (NIV)  “The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the LORD will prosper.”

Today’s Recipe  We are a big fan of using salad dressings as chicken marinades or bases at our house.  These quick and easy bottled dressings can really jazz up a typically bland or tough boneless, skinless chicken breast.  Today’s recipe is for Spicy “Oven Fried” Chicken, using Buffalo Ranch dressing as the starter.  If you like the simplicity of using dressings for a marinade base, be sure to check out my recipes for Creamy Italian Baked Chicken and Honey Mustard Chicken.

Spicy oven fried chicken
Start with a base of buffalo ranch dressing and then add some heat and spice to your dredge for a juicy, flavorful chicken breast dinner.

 

Spicy “Oven Fried” Chicken

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cup Buffalo Ranch salad dressing (I use Wish Bone)
  • 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper

Place chicken breasts in large zip-top bag and add salad dressing.  Place in refrigerator for 4-8 hours.  When ready to cook, turn oven to 375 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  In shallow baking dish combine bread crumbs, flour, and seasonings.    Take chicken from bag and place in shallow dish, turning to completely coat with breading.  Place chicken breasts on prepared baking sheet and bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken pieces), turning halfway through.