When the Righteous Prosper, the City Rejoices

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In a competitive, jealous, selfish, sin stained world, we must strive to be people who will cause rejoicing in others when we prosper.

When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices;  when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. Proverbs 11:10 (NIV)

Trust me.  There are lots of people who complain at the injustice when certain people prosper.  They are the kinds of people that make others scratch their heads and ask the same question Jeremiah asked:

Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease? Jeremiah 12:1b (NIV)

I know lots of people who see others who are wealthy, and it produces all kinds of feelings of jealousy, hatred, and unfairness.

I don’t want to be that kind of person.  I want to grow up to be the kind of person that others can rejoice when prosperity comes.

What, then, are the characteristics of the righteous that would make the city rejoice?

Personally, I’d answer that question by answering this one – who are the people I would gladly pray that God would bless with more prosperity?  Sure, we all like to think we’d be the righteous wealthy, but we know that the ones who are trustworthy with little are the ones who will be trustworthy with much.

Who are the people who are righteously and responsibly overseeing what they have today?  Perhaps we should be praying for those people.  We should pray that God guards their hearts.  Then we should pray that God continue to bless them with more and more prosperity.

The righteous  are those who use prosperity as a blessing to others.

I’m sure there are some in this world who only use what they have for themselves.  But that is the rare exception.  Instead, there are many who use what they have to bless others.

As a missionary, I’ve experienced God’s goodness through the gifts of others.  Perhaps I’m just being selfish, but wouldn’t it be a blessing if God doubled the salary of every person who was supporting our work?  My assumption is that then they could do twice as much good for other missionaries.

I’ve known business owners who reserve a portion of their job openings as a ministry to people.  They take under qualified people and train them how to work.  I pray God blesses those companies 100 fold.

The righteous use their influence for the good of others.

With wealth comes more than just more money.  With wealth comes influence.

The way our world works is that the person with the fattest wallet is listened to more closely.  The poor must yell and are barely heard.  The wealthy whisper, and the world snaps to attention.

That influence can be pointed inward or outward.

I’ve heard of surgeons at hospitals who have ‘pressured’ other hospital staff to join them on medical mission trips to help do surgeries in developing nations.

Then, of course, there are the company owners who use their contact list to help develop leads for a charity they are working with.

These are people who use their influence for others.

Yes, there are some who say wealth is evil.  However, God has always desired to use wealth as a tool in his kingdom.  The trouble comes when the Master asks for a tool and we refuse to give it.

My Challenge to You:

1. Identify and pray for five people around you who you want God to prosper.  Identify individuals who would cause a city to rejoice when they prosper.

2.  Be responsible with either the little or much you have.  One cannot predict how you would respond with much tomorrow. But one can accurately know how you’re handling whatever you have today.

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