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Prosperity [präˈsperədē]


  1. the state of being prosperous.

“a long period of prosperity”


wealth · success · profitability · affluence · riches · opulence · the good life · (good) fortune · ease · plenty · welfare · comfort · security · wellbeing · luxury · life of luxury · milk and honey · a bed of roses · prosperousness · successfulness · speed · Godspeed


Prosperity continues to be a topic that is constantly misunderstood and abused.

Although I generally focus on business topics, and I will get to prosperity in the business sense, prosperity is a term with as much personal implication as a business application.

Willis and Garn, two successful business coaches, have collected definitions of prosperity over the years.  Their collection includes:

  • A way of living and thinking, and not just having money or things.
  • Having the time and financial freedom to enjoy life at your own leisure.
  • Being in the flow, having what you need at the time you need it.
  • Living a rich life, one of love and compassion, wealth and complete joy, one of caring and sharing, filled with laughter and exploration. The joy of loving a child. Seeing the world and its wonders. To be able to do this in life is prosperity.

From this collection and the interesting list of synonyms associated with the technical definition of prosperity, it is easy to see that the personal use of prosperity and the business application of prosperity overlap.


The problem with prosperity is that it is defined too narrowly.

We use success and the list of synonyms to replace prosperity when they do not do justice to the actual meaning of prosperity.

Sure, prosperity embodies money, wealth, income, security, savings, health, family, and friends. But, love is also a word that is used to define prosperity. So, prosperity is not just about wealth; it is a balanced that includes deep and committed human relationships.

Moreover, prosperity also includes a sense of service and giving, such as volunteering and community service. You prosper so you can help others, not just yourself. You prosper as a state of peace, where you can help others obtain peace as well.

Keys to Prosperity

  1. Recognize that everything in life, including making money, is a function of a spirit that shapes and influences every facet of your life.
  2. Aim for doing business with purpose, where profit-making equals profit sharing.
  3. Think in terms of “when I help you win, I win.”
  4. In business, reward your employees beyond the monetary value.
  5. The seed of money is service—offering something of value that can benefit the people you are dealing with.

The Bible

Prosperity is so prevalent in the Bible that it has often been abused as an iron-clad promise for financial wealth and physical wellbeing. Of course, the Bible makes no such promises.

The Bible’s commitment to prosperity is connected to the idea that we are God’s children, adopted into His family, and heirs to His Kingdom.  God has justified us and has given us the gift of forgiveness.

Although we live in a fallen world, God loves us as His own dear children.

Just as an earthly father wants his children to prosper in many ways, so does God. Just as earthly fathers love to give their children good gifts, so does our heavenly Father love to give us good gifts. As His children, we can expect Him to take care of us.

Philippians 4:19 says.

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Furthermore, Romans 8:17–18 promises.

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Our prosperity is not found in wealth—because God knew we could not be trusted with money—and not found in perfect relationships—because we live in a fallen world.

Our prosperity is the promise that forever we will enjoy everything God owns. And will enjoy it in the company of God Himself.

Be prosperous, not in the limited current cultural use of the word.  But be prosperous in the fullness of how God plans for us to prosper.