I came across a clip of a mega-pastor saying that “if you are poor, broke and defeated, all that means is that you are poor, broke and defeated. That doesn’t bring any honor to God.”
As I listened to that clip, I prayed that it was taken out of context, that perhaps later on he explained what he was really saying. I prayed because that statement is so offensive to the Gospel I know. And to the God I know.
Paul faced this kind of arrogance in the Corinthians. They were boasting of their wisdom and gifts and Paul needed to remind them that God has made foolish the wisdom of this world. He reminded them of what they were so that they could view what they are from a position of humility, not arrogance.
“Brothers [and sisters], think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’” [1 Cor 1:26-31]
I am not a proponent of what is called the prosperity Gospel. I am a proponent of the Gospel that embraces humility, service, the giving of everything within us to others and to the glory of God. I believe that as Christians we are to have the power of God indwelling us, we are to have abundant and deep faith. But the power of God is always displayed under control in meekness (as Jesus displayed it), and our deep faith is to be exercised always and only not for our own accumulation of wealth, but in the trials and tribulation of life that we and others endure.
Let’s not boast in our arrogance or prosperity – Let’s boast in the LORD!