Perils of Prosperity

A man of God, many years ago, prayed, “O Father, keep me from the perils of prosperity!”

With far too many people, the chief standard of greatness is financial prosperity. The greatly honored and late 27th President of the United States, the Honorable William Howard Taft, sounded a most timely admonition to the United States, to the effect that the enthronement of the spirit of materialism in the fabric of the country’s life contributes the most serious menace to civilization and to the security of the nation.

The true wealth of a country is not financial and material, but moral and spiritual.

Civilization is a dismal failure, even though its banks be glutted with deposits, and its ships of commerce fill the seas, unless the true value of a man’s life be promoted and valued.

Tennyson wrote in “Crossing The Bar,”

“Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, where wealth accumulates and men decay.”

The financial standard, as important as it is, is not the standard for greatness.

When Christ challenged the rich young ruler, we read, “But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich” (Luke 18:23).

G. Campbell Morgan wrote,

“Watt’s picture of the young ruler is a very remarkable revelation. Watts dared to give us nothing more than a portrait of his back. We cannot see his face. We do get a glimpse of a profile, but it is the back turned on Jesus that he has represented. Nevertheless Watts has put into that back everything that speaks of dejection. He is seen, magnificently robed, the turban round his head sparkling with jewels, and his hand hanging listlessy by his side.”

“Adversity is hard on a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity” -Thomas Carlyle.

Pastor David Arnold
Gulf Coast Worship Center

 

© 2013 Rev. David Arnold Ministries, All rights reserved.