The Shocking Truth About Prosperity
By Rev. Keith Smyth
The above signature is that of Rev. Keith Smyth. His expertise is in Huna, Biofeedback, computers, dreams, science and electronics. He is doing research in some of the above areas. He is a Technical Writer, Electronics Instructor and Metaphysical Teacher. He is also a cartoonist and contributes many for our Rainbow Connection.
-------- * --------
One shocking truth about prosperity is that it is shockingly right instead of shockingly wrong for you to be prosperous!
Russell H. Conwell emphasized this in his famous "Acres of Diamonds" lectures (all of the following is praphased from Mr. Conwell's lectures):
I say you ought to be rich; you have no right to be poor. To live and not be rich is a misfortune and it is doubly a misfortune because you could have been rich just as well as being poor.... We ought to get rich if we can by honorable methods, and these are the only methods that sweep us quickly toward the goal of riches.
Please note that the word "rich" means having an abundance of good or living a fuller, more satisfying life. Indeed, you are prosperous to the degree that you are experiencing peace, health, happiness and plenty in your world. There are honorable methods that can carry you quickly toward that goal. It is easier to accomplish than you may now think. That, too, is the shocking truth about prosperity.
Several decades ago a businessman predicted that the religious leaders of the future would be forced to give more attention to helping their followers solve their economic and personal problems of the present; and that they would be less concerned with the dead past or the unborn future. I agree with that businessman and I wish to help you do just that-solve your economic and personal problems of the present. As you do, your dead past and your unborn future will surely be taken care of.
You Should Desire Prosperity
Perhaps one of the greatest shocks I ever received was the one that became apparent when I began lecturing on prosperity. I soon realized that many of the people attending the lectures were still trying to resolve that old conflict of whether they should desire to be prosperous. Of course, they wanted prosperity; every normal person does. But they appeared to secretly wonder whether they should seek it or not, especially from a spiritual standpoint. Most of the business people attending the lectures seemed to feel guilty about wanting to be prosperous, though of course they were working hard every day in their jobs to do so. The question, obviously, was still in their minds: whether poverty was a spiritual virtue or a common vice. That conflict in their thinking was setting up a conflicting result in their affairs, which neutralized their efforts to succeed, no matter how hard they were working.
Soon it became apparent that it would take the expression of some bold, even shocking ideas on the subject to blast out the limited beliefs that had bound these people to mediocre living for years. Realizing this, I spent several lecture periods explaining how God, man and prosperity are all divinely related. After the initial shock of these ideas had passed, these fine people were greatly relieved and very happy that, at last, they no longer had to feel guilty about wanting to be prosperous. It was then that they began to experience the previously described results in rapid time.
Since that time, in my lecturing around the country, in private counseling and correspondence on the subject with countless people, in radio, television and newspaper interviews, I find that the same idea still persists. Perfectly wonderful people seem quite confused about whether prosperity should be considered a spiritual blessing. But how relieved they are when shown that it definitely is.
Poverty Is A Sin
And so again I say: It is shockingly right instead of shockingly wrong for you to be prosperous. Obviously, you cannot be very happy if you are poor, and you need not be poor. It is a sin. Poverty is a form of hell caused by man's blindness to God's unlimited good for him. Poverty is a dirty, uncomfortable, degrading experience. Poverty is actually a form of disease, and in its acute phases, it seems to be a form of insanity.
Poverty fills prisons with thieves and murderers. It drives men and women to drink, prostitution, dope addiction, suicide. It drives potentially fine, talented, intelligent children to delinquency and crime. It makes people do things they otherwise would never dream of doing. Communism, one of the most dread movements in the world today, often gets a stronghold as the direct result of poverty. The governments which have become Communist dominated have usually done so for financial reasons, believing it a way to financial security. The sinful results of poverty know no bounds. That is one of the reasons why, as a minister, I have felt so strongly led to do whatever I can to help people learn how to eradicate the sin of poverty from their lives.
A doctor I know has said that he would have few patients if it were not for financial problems which cause them worry, strain and tension, all of which lead to ill health. He states that our mental hospitals are filled with people who have found that financial strain over a long period impaired their minds and bodies to the point of incapacity. It has even been estimated that nine-tenths of mankind's ifls are caused by the strain, misery and unhappiness of poverty.
Let us be done with thinking of poverty as a virtue. It is a common vice. If you have been living in financial lack and limitation, you have literally been living in vice. That, too, is the shocking truth about prosperity. But you need not continue living in financial vice. There is a way out.
Prosperity Is Your Divine Heritage
The Bible is filled with rich promises regarding your potential prosperity, as a child of God. You should be prosperous, well supplied and have an abundance of good because it is your divine heritage. Your Creator wants you that way! That is the shockingly nice truth about prosperity.
Besides, you can't be much good to yourself or to anyone else unless you are prosperous. The person who does not desire to be prosperous is abnormal, because without prosperity you live abnormally. You cannot live fully on the physical plane without proper food, comfortable clothing, warm shelter and without freedom from excessive toil. Rest and recreation are also needed for your physical life.
You cannot live fully on the mental plane without satisfying creative mental activity; without books and time to enjoy them, without time to enjoy music, art and other cultural interests; without opportunity and money for travel and intellectual association with others of similar interests.
To live fully on the spiritual plane of life, you need time for quiet contemplation; for meditation, prayer, spiritual study, attendance at churches, lectures and satisfying association with others on the spiritual path. It is, therefore, of supreme importance that you be prosperous for your physical, mental and spiritual welfare and development.
Make no excuses for putting up with lack or accepting it as a permanent arrangement in your life. Do not go to the other extreme either, and talk of wanting to be prosperous for the good you can do. That is secondary. You want to be prosperous mainly because it is right that you should be. Prosperity is your divine heritage as the child of a King, as a son of God.
Success Is Divinely Ordained
There is no reason for you to think of prosperity as something separate from your spiritual life or "beyond the pale" of religion. You do not have to try to live in two worlds where you run things for six days and then on the seventh give God a chance to show what He can do. Take God as a rich, loving, understanding Father into all your affairs each day of your week. Ask His divine instruction and guidance about all your affairs, financial and otherwise, and you will be pleasantly surprised how much better every phase of your life will become. All things are yours is the divine promise. (I Cor. 3:21)
An analyst recently declared to me that he had found the most common cause of failure in people is the conflicting idea about whether success is divinely ordained or divinely damned. For instance, he stated that many had assured him that failure was more spiritually approved than success by quoting the words of Jesus, you cannot serve God and mammon. (Matt. 6:24) This doctor further stated that he has spent many an hour explaining to people who are not succeeding that being success-minded is not serving mammon, and that they should stop using God as an excuse for their failures.
The dictionary describes mammon as "riches regarded as an object of worship or as a false god." People serve mammon who leave God out of their financial affairs and try to go it alone. When you realize that God wants you to be prosperous and that God, as the Creator of this rich universe, is indeed the Source of your prosperity, then you are not worshipping mammon. You are not making prosperity a false god. You are simply claiming your prosperous heritage from the Source of all your blessings. Jehovah pointed out the right spiritual attitude toward prosperity when He told Moses to remind the Children of Israel: But thou shalt remember Jehovah thy God, for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth. (Deut. 8:18ASV) The word "wealth' means grand living, and that is what a prosperous thinker should be working toward and should be expecting as his spiritual right.
Perhaps you are recalling, at this point, a statement I also heard as a child which confused me about prosperity being a spiritual blessing. People often said, "I am poor but I'm a good Christian." Even though I come from a family that has produced several ministers, I always shuddered when I heard that statement. My immediate reaction was, "Why should Christians or any other group have to be poor? God isn't poor and He is our loving Father." Then, too, that statement made it sound as if all the rich folks were bound for hell. Somehow I could not figure out why rich people had to go to hell just because they were prosperous. It seemed rather inconsistent to Me.
The Bible Is a Prosperity Textbook
Upon entering the ministry, I decided to settle the issue within my own mind by studying the Biblical view of prosperity versus poverty. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that the Bible is the greatest textbook on prosperity ever written!
The Bible clearly shows that you have not been pleasing God by settling for lack and limitation in your life, any more than you have been pleasing yourself. The very first chapter describes the rich universe created for man; the last book of the Bible symbolically describes heaven in rich terms. Most of the great men of the Bible were either born prosperous, became prosperous or had access to riches whenever the need arose. Among them were Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, Elijah and Elisha of the Old Testament; and Jesus and Paul of the New Testament.
Jesus life and teachings bear clear evidence of His understanding of prosperity laws. As a babe, He was presented with rich gifts by the Wise Men. Although Jesus has been described as being poor, with no place to lay His head, He had a home with His parents in Nazareth, and was gladly welcomed into the homes of both rich and poor all over Palestine. His first miracle produced a rich gift of the finest wine for his host at a wedding feast. He unhesitating used the laws of prosperity to feed thousands in a desert place. His parable of the Prodigal Son contains a fine prosperity lesson.
When Jesus declared, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom, He was not referring to those living in poverty. "Poor in spirit" means those who are humble and receptive, not prideful and self-important. When the rich man came to Jesus to inquire about eternal life, it is recorded that Jesus, looking upon him, loved him. (Mark 10:21) Jesus told him to sell what he had to inherit eternal life, for He saw that the man was possessed by his possessions, rather than being in control of them. Later Jesus commented compassionately, How hard it is for them that trust in riches to enter the kingdom. (Mark 10:24)
His interest in and contact with the financial world included calling a tax collector to be one of His apostles, appointing a treasurer among the apostles to handle their finances, and His paying taxes to the Roman government. Even his seamless robe was considered so valuable that Roman soldiers cast lots for it at the cross. It was a man of wealth, Joseph of Arimathea, who begged for Jesus' body from Pilate and who buried it in his own tomb. Even after the Resurrection, Jesus showed an interest in the prosperity of His followers, instructing the fishermen where to fish successfully, after they had previously failed to catch anything.
Why Poverty Is Not Spiritual
You may wonder why there has been so much talk of sacrifice, persecution and hard times as necessary phases of the spiritual way of life. History reveals that the inspired yet practical teachings of the Bible continued to be observed during the early centuries after Christ. But soon religion became more secularized, leading to variations and departures from Jesus' original teachings. Later, the feudal systems during the Middle Ages assured wealth only for the privileged few. During this period, the teaching of "poverty and penance" was offered to the masses as the only way to salvation, in order to keep people in poverty, and to make lack and privation a supposed "Christian virtue." Unsuspecting millions were led to believe that it was "pious to be poor," a belief which was useful in forestalling revolution among the masses. Some of those old feudal ideas about poverty as a spiritual virtue have persisted until today, but they are false, man-made ideas and not God's rich Truth for you and me.
Thus, make no further excuses to yourself or others for wanting to be prosperous. It is a divine desire that should be given divine expression. You can boldly give thanks that prosperity is your divine heritage; that the Father's desire for you is unlimited good, not merely the means of a meager existence.
Right Attitudes Will Pay Your Bills
Now, in order to help you establish the all-important prosperous attitude, that God is the Source of man's supply as the Creator of this rich universe, and that God's will for you is therefore the wealth of the universe, I suggest that you paraphrase the words of Jehovah to Moses: I will remember Jehovah God, for He it is that giveth me power to experience wealth.
Perhaps you are thinking, "Yes, but is this kind of thinking practical? Can such attitudes actually help put shoes on the baby, food on the table and pay the rent?" Yes, it can!
Recently, I talked with a young woman who seemed to have everything against her. When stricken with paralysis, her drinking, gambling, non-working husband deserted her, leaving several children to support and educate. Though she had a roof over her head, it was mortgaged. Though her husband was required by court order to provide a small monthly allowance for support of the children, it was insufficient to meet their needs. However, each time that I visited this woman, who for many months was bedridden and more recently confined to a wheel chair, she always joyously reported new channels of supply which had opened to her.
On one visit, she stated that she had been given enough canned food to last several months; that money had appeared as needed for clothes for her children from some relatives in a distant state; that her own medical expenses were being met by a friend who is overseas; that, indeed, every financial need was being met. Fresh paint had even arrived for the outside of the house and a neighbor was busily repainting it!
When I asked what her prosperity secret was and how she had been able to meet every bill on time, while she was in a wheel chair with no ample or steady income, she said that one prayer had been her great source of strength and supply: Whenever a financial need was near, she would quietly meditate over and over upon this promise from the 46th Psalm: Be still, and know that I am God.
One day the mortgage payment was due on the house in the amount of $40. She had not a cent of the money, so she quietly began to think on these words: Be still, and know that I am God. Be still, and know that I am God at work in this situation now. Around noon she got a sense of peace about the situation and so completed her meditation period. About an hour later, as she was being served lunch by a relative, in walked a neighbor who placed some money in her hand. He said, "Our Sunday School class got to thinking about you. There was some extra money in the treasury and we decided we would like to share it with you." The amount he handed her was $40!
This woman, recognizing God as the Source of her supply, has proved that this Source will never fail her, even under extreme conditions of ill health, marital disappointment and financial uncertainty. Of course, her great desire is to become self-supporting and financially independent of gifts from relatives, neighbors and friends. Surely she will realize this desire as she perseveres in prosperous thinking. She is now beginning to walk again for the first time in several years and will soon be able to work, too. Meanwhile, she is proving that God's rich supply can come in many unforeseen ways to meet the needs of the moment, regardless of life's hard conditions.
The Psalmist was recognizing God as the Source of his supply when he declared, The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. It is a good prosperity prayer to declare often. A housewife needed $100 to cover two bills that were due by the end of the week. Early that week, whenever fear tried to creep in as to how she would pay those bills, she declared over and over, The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. On Friday morning, the day the bills were due, a check arrived in the mail for $110! It was from a company her husband had worked for several years previously. They wrote a letter saying that they had just "found" in her husband's account that this amount was still due him; and that they were enclosing it to clear his records with them.
A businessman with a large family was getting toward the end of the month financially. He was paid once a month and it was still a week until payday. The groceries were getting low. His wife reminded him of these facts on Friday before Saturday morning grocery shopping time. Together they agreed to look to God for their supply and to affirm guidance. They did so by constantly affirming, Our sufficiency is of God. (II Cor. 3:5) Saturday morning the mail arrived with a check from the State revenue department enclosing tax refund in the amount of $60! This couple was expecting several hundred dollars in Federal income tax refunds but had forgotten about a possible State tax refund. The amount covered their needs nicely until payday.
A saleswoman who had had a lot of financial expense and whose sales had fallen off decided to look to God as the Source of her supply by affirming over and over from the Lord's Prayer, Give me this day my daily bread. It was like a landslide. Her sales picked up tremendously so that the commission checks started coming in again, plus her salary. Neighbors brought her prepared dishes of food as a token of their esteem for her. She was given several lovely items of new clothing by a friend. Some of her customers brought her gifts in appreciation for her loving service to them. A number of invitations into friends' homes for dinner were extended, which she enjoyed. Daily her needs began to be supplied, as she had prayed they would be. Her daily bread appeared in many satisfying forms.
How to Stabilize Your Finances
Of course, the wonderful thing about recognizing God as the Source of all riches, and taking Him into your financial affairs and into every department of your life, is that the more you do so, the more stabilized every phase of your life becomes. In due time, there are no stringent financial emergencies to be dramatically met with instant manna from heaven. Instead, things just get better and better financially, so that there is always substance on hand to meet your needs.
The Psalmist pointed out what happens when you consistently think of God as the Source of your supply: "But his delight is in the law of Jehovah. And on his law doth he meditate day and night. And He shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that bringeth forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also doth not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." (lst Psalm)
But it is good to know that, until you develop a proper understanding to bring forth the substance of the universe in an abundant, unbroken stream of supply, the financial needs of the moment can be met by looking to the Source of all riches, a rich, Heavenly Father.
The Link Between Thought and Supply
Perhaps you are saying, "If my prosperity comes basically from God; if He is the Source of my supply, then why all the talk about 'prosperous thinking'? What does prosperous thinking have to do with my supply?"
God's rich supply is all around you universally, as well as innately within you, as talents and abilities and ideas longing for expression. But that rich supply and substance must be contacted and used. Your mind is your connecting link with it. Your attitudes, your mental concepts, beliefs, and outlook are your connecting link with God's rich substance and your access to it. God can only do for you what He can do through you, by means of your thoughts and ideas which lead to your reactions. Thus, prosperous thinking opens the way to prosperous results.
Begin making contact with the rich, universal substance around you and with the rich substance within you by declaring often: I stir up the gifts of God within me and around me, and I am blessed on every hand with happiness, success and true achievement. Just by declaring this idea, you will begin stirring up the riches of the universe, attracting them to you and expressing them through you.
Success Adores the Prosperous Attitude
Another of the shocking truths about prosperity is that thoughts of your mind have made you what you are, and thoughts of your mind will make you whatever you become from this day forward. The more you realize this, the more you will come to know that people, places, conditions and events cannot keep your God-given prosperity and success from you, once you decide to deliberately employ prosperous thinking as your ally for success. Indeed, you will discover that the things, people and events that have previously worked against you will either begin to work for and with you, or they will fade out of your life, and new people and events will appear to help you succeed. That is the power of prosperous thinking.
Some authorities believe that one prosperous thought is more powerful than a thousand failure thoughts; and that two prosperous attitudes steadily held and expressed are more powerful than ten thousand failure attitudes! Success adores the prosperous attitude-of that you can be sure. A loving Father seems to adore the prosperous attitude, too. Surely others adore it and are attracted to it and work for it. More about these things in the next chapter.
Meanwhile, remind yourself often that God is the Source of all your supply and then make spiritual contact with Him, His rich substance and rich ideas that await your appropriation: I am the rich child of a loving Father. I now accept and claim His rich good for me in every phase of my life. My own God-given success in the form of rich ideas and rich results now appears!
Remind yourself often of these shocking truths about prosperity: That it is shockingly right instead of shockingly wrong to be prosperous. That God created a rich universe for you and wants you to enjoy it. That prosperity can come quickly through your deliberate use of prosperous thinking, which leads to the expression of rich ideas, rich actions and rich results. Thus, dare to ask a friendly, interested, rich, loving Father for guidance often. And with Moses, remember Jehovah God, for He is that giveth thee power to get wealth.
Now launch forth happily and expectantly into the dynamic laws of prosperity - the spiritual and mental laws which can and will transform your life. Solomon realized the need for exploring them when he explained, "Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction." (Prov. 13:18) You can, from this page forward, begin freeing yourself of limitation, lack and failure. As you accept and use the simple but powerful ideas given in this chapter and in the pages to come, you will find yourself on the royal road to success. Furthermore, you will find it a pleasant experience that produces satisfying results.
That is the power of prosperous thinking and that is the shockingly nice truth about it.
These are my own statements:
I can verify that these principles work, even though I am not a christian. I am one of the Other People. But these principles work for EVERYONE.
While we - my wife and I - would probably not be considered "rich" by many other people, consider this:
1. Everything we own is paid for.
2. We have most all of the physical things we want.
3. When we decide to get something, we get it, and pay for it up front.
4. We have the wherewithall to come and go as we please.
5. Roughing it now is when room service is 5 minutes late.
By these considerations, we are wealthy. And the Huna Prayers work!