My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Deliver us from want — Prosperity and the christian church

“What could she possibly have to be thankful for…?” My question caught me by surprise, but as it lingered I realized I needed an answer. I was reading a snippet of the story of a missionary on a short-term mission trip who had been on a now abandoned island in the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, ministering to lepers. On the final day, he was leading worship in a leper colony and asked if anyone had a favorite song. At his request, a woman turned and he saw the most disfigured face he’d ever seen—she had no ears, no nose and her lips were gone. But she raised her hand, it was fingerless, and asked, “Could we sing, ‘Count Your Many Blessings’?”

What would be on her list? I wanted to know. What blessings would SHE be thanking God for? How would her list compare to mine…, or yours.

Blessing defined as having good fortune or having tangible things for which we are thankful is very popular in our churches today. As a matter of fact, the idea of prosperity is one of the most popular guarenteed triggers to generate a shout in many places of worship. But I believe the noble goal of helping believers grasp the awesome heritage we have as a result of our relationship with God—that we need not live dejected, depressed, hopeless lives have turned us on to a desire to be delivered from “want”. Lack, it seems, has become the new evil —- and not necessarily the lack of a thing, but the lack of the thing being bigger and better. It seems everywhere we turn the word prosperity is being brandished and we seem to think we can praise our way into a life of abundance without developing characteristics of  discipline, self-control or excellent work ethics. We want stuff and we want it now.

I remember years ago a friend purchased a house, he was so excited about this milestone, but as we talked, his girlfriend’s response was, “It’s ok, for a starter home”. On another occasion I heard someone express dissatisfaction because the new car they had been able to afford was not a “luxury” vehicle. We appear to be at this very challenging juncture where what we have is never sufficient, where we can never be in the moment because of our anxiety for the next bigger thing. We seem to have this misguided concept that God is more interested in showering us with stuff than He is in making us after his own heart.

Would our churches want to take credit for this “renewed” mindset? For instead of developing disciples who are hungry for God, whose passion is serving for kingdom building, who remember our hallmark is in the way we love one another, and who can rest in the privileged state of learned contentment; we’ve produced many dissatisfied, selfish people, who have an insatiable appetite for more stuff, whose religious mantra is to name and claim, and who seem to think our hallmark is in the abundance of what we possess.

Lest some may think I’m opposed to disciples of Christ prospering in the material as well as the spiritual, let me say such thinking would be unwise and unscriptural. But the challenge to maintain right prospective is evident as we try to balance the pursuit of both. For though we may loose the things we touch, or even the things we touch with, like the leper on Chacachacare Island, assured, we’ll know that we still possess the cross-endorsed sacrificial gifts of Christ that nothing can destroy.

This is Dona Halliday challenging you to feed those things that have eternal value as your mind is being renewed

Take a listen. I love the message in this song – “Empty Me”

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