Since I'm still recovering from surgery, I am home watching some Christian TV instead of being with my church family. I'm not usually a fan of TV preachers, but I do want to hear preaching. So I tuned into Joel Osteen and was encouraged by his message. Not that I buy into the entire prosperity gospel, but I do appreciate when pastors declare that the glory of God sometimes manifests itself in material blessings on His people. Having grown up, like Osteen, with the "poverty is next to godliness" mentality that grew out of the Depression Era of my forebears, I can relate to what he's talking about. Here are some notes I took as I listened. Not verbatim, but paraphrased.
Some people will be your friend at the lunch table as long as you are making the same amount. But as soon as you get an increase, they will be jealous and reject you. Are they true friends?
Do you go around feeling poor, dejected, and defeated and think it's an act of humility? It's not. When people see you going around poor, dejected, and defeated, they don't want any part of it. You can project that without God. Walk around in your abundant life from Christ!
Favor is not always fair. You don't have to feel guilty if God gives you a promotion because promotions come from God, not man. If you don't want to accept it, He'll choose someone who will. Celebrate His blessings.
Some people come in at the end of the movie. They haven't seen what your grandfather, grandmother, father, and mother sacrificed to get their children to a better life than they had.
They didn't see the cardboard your grandfather put in his shoes when the bottoms wore out. They didn't see when your grandmother was making ten cents an hour washing other people's clothes.
They didn't see your father trying to raise five kids on $115 a week as a pastor.
They weren't there when your mom died of terminal cancer and wanted you to have the house. They weren't the ones sweeping the church floor when everyone else had gone home to Sunday supper.
They just come in right now when you are prospering, when God has decided to give you material blessing and they judge you.
They wish they had a nicer house, a bigger piece of property, and they think you are the one who has blessed you.
Life is too short to worry about what people think. Owning two acres of land on earth is not going to bankrupt heaven where the streets are paved with gold! Wear your blessings well.
If you have prayed about buying a nicer house and can afford it and have peace, don't worry about who judges you. God is not going to judge you for the very thing He has given you--prosperity. Like any good Father, He smiles when He gives you things and smiles when you happily receive them. As for true friends, they rejoice when you are blessed. They celebrate your prosperity. As long as you're not being selfish, going into debt, or making objects your idols, it's perfectly fine. Wear your blessing well!
Thoughts on this message?