Day 19 | 21-Day Growth Challenge | "Factors Leading to Poverty and Prosperity"

Friday, September 17, 2010 Bryan Hudson 8 Comments


Proverbs 21:2 People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart.

One of the great advantages of knowing the Lord is having the Holy Spirit examine our hearts. Obviously, we only know what we know. We tend to be persuaded only to our own points of view. We are inherently subjective, meaning that we trust our own feelings more than anything else. God helps us to become objective, meaning that we can look more independently at our own opinions and views. Let the Lord examine your heart, and be willing to change your view or opinion based on the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 21:5 Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.

There are a number of scriptures in this chapter that address practical concerns regarding prosperity. Here in Verse Five is one of the most fundamental principles of success: Planning well and working hard brings successful outcomes. On the other hand, being hasty and taking shortcuts to quality, leads to lack and the condition of poverty.

Proverbs 21:6 Wealth created by a lying tongue is a vanishing mist and a deadly trap.

Wealth is neither a sure sign of godliness nor of prosperity God's way. There are a lot of wealthy people in this world who have gotten rich by telling lies, deceiving people, and using other wrong methods. People who became wealthy by immoral means may not lose all their money. However, as far as biblical principles is concerned their wealth is illegitimate. The text also characterizes ill-gotten gain as a "deadly trap."

Proverbs 21:13 Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.

This is another instance in the book of Proverbs where Solomon highlights the importance of having compassion for the poor. Any plan of success or prosperity that excludes ministering to the poor is a short-sighted plan.

Proverbs 21:17 Those who love pleasure become poor; those who love wine and luxury will never be rich.

One of the major barriers to prosperity God's way is indulging in pleasures and wasteful lifestyles. Some of the most successful people are very reserved and disciplined in their behaviors.

Proverbs 21:20 The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.

People who are unwise often squander their resources. Many of these folks do not save, plan, or exercise restraint in their spending. Some people use credit cards for consumable items like food and clothing.


"Lord, help me hold to principles that bring blessing and make me a blessing to others. Give me wisdom in handling my affairs. In Jesus' Name. Amen!"

(Use comment section below to share your insights. Record sensitive items in your personal journal. You can login or simply use your first name.)
  1. What is the importance of inviting God to examine our hearts?
  2. What are some behaviors that lead to prosperity?
  3. What are some behaviors that lead to poverty?
  4. What actions will you take today related to this lesson?

Click on "Comments" to read others and add yours afterwards.


  1. 1) It is essential that God examine our hearts because with out it we are limited by our own ideas, believes and experiences. He leads on the path of righteousness.

    2)Good planning and hard work along with budgeting your time,energy and finances will lead to prosperity.

    3)Laziness, taking shortcuts, selfishness and greed are a few behaviors that lead to poverty.

  2. 1. Inviting God in to examine our hearts will ensure that we are in line with His purpose for our lives and not leaning toward fleshly desires.

    2. Seeking the Lord during the decision-making process, consulting subject matter experts in the particular area of interest, diligence, and hardwork are behaviors that lead to prosperity.

    3. Procrastination and haste, which are the extreme opposites on the action spectrum, are two behaviors that can both lead to poverty. For instance, the decision to not look for work because you are receiving unemployment benefits will cause you to still be unemployed when the benefits run out, at which time you will run through your resources and possibly need public assistance next. On the other hand, haste can lead to unwise decision-making, such as when a house or car is purchased without doing due diligence, which can turn into a financial nightmare. Therefore, when these two behaviors are continuously practiced as a matter of course, the outlook is grim. Hence, we need to take action on matters in a timely fashion, not moving too slow or too fast, but seeking the Lord whom will direct us to the correct path.

    4. I will seek the Lord in all of my planning and purpose to exhibit behaviors that lead to prosperity.

  3. 1. The importance of inviting God to examine our hearts is that he knows what is in the heart of each person, (thoughts, desires, and intents) that may be hidden from us or that we have determined are right. When He examines our heart, the Holy Spirit will reveal and convict of what is right in the eyes of the Lord. When He examines and reveals, he is able to heal and restore, and to give us the grace to purge anything He finds that is not of him.
    2.Some behaviors that lead to prosperity are to live in the fear of the Lord; to plan, set goals, and adopt strategies for life based on the wisdom of God; to use time, money, other resources wisely; to read, study, and obey the word of God; to use our God given talents and gifts; to pray regularly; to fellowship regularly with other believers in Christ; to share the message of the gospel of peace with God through Jesus Christ; to be faithful in our relationships with God and people, and other things of this nature.
    3.Some behaviors that lead to poverty are not living in the fear of the Lord; not living in line with Godly wisdom; not giving or saving money; making hasty, uninformed decisions; failing to plan and set goals; living a lifestyle of laziness; living beyond one’s means and resources, and other things of this nature.
    4. The action I will take today is to pray for the Lord’s help in handling rightly the affairs of my life so that I will please Him and be a blessing.

  4. 1. The importance of inviting God to examine my heart. Sometime we can be a certain way or form certain habits that we feel comfortible overlooking. When good sound principles have been planted in our lives, but covered up and pressed down by habits, it will appear different on the surface. When God examines our heart, He uncovers what is baried deep, He opens our eyes that we can truthfully see beyond the surface. like a waxed tile floor that has scuff marks & stains on the surface, but a good buffing can clean it all up and make it look new again. When God goes into the heart of the matter He buffs us out to look new again.
    2. Behaviors that lead to prosperity: giving, tithing,saving or monitoring 'need verses greed', consulting with others who are honestly successful.
    3. Behaviors that lead to poverty: foolish spending, maxing out charge cards, living above your means of income, not listening to wise counseling, trying to get what someone else has without knowledge of how they got it, and willing to cheat-lie-steal.
    4. Actions taken: Continue to ask God to search my heart and show me where I need to change and how to go about it, that I may prosper in all things.

  5. 1. The importance of inviting God to examine our hearts is that we realize God is our creator and He knows our thoughts, desires and motives before we act upon them. When we ask God to show us what is hidden to others, we are acknowledging our need for His wisdom and grace. The Holy Spirit will reveal our pure motive and intention if we are willing to listen. From that point, we can choose to follow wisdom and understanding.
    2. Behaviors that lead to "Prosperity God's Way" are giving (sowing) time, talents and treasures (tithes, offerings), making wise decisions, gaining knowledge before making purchases (consumer reports, financial reports, having a budget, etc,), honest gain and pure motives, and giving to help others in need.
    3. Behaviors that lead to poverty are the need to acquire material possessions at any cost (credit cards, envy of others, dishonesty), selfishness (holding onto what God says to give), and poor judgment.
    4. "Lord, help me hold to principles that bring blessing and make me a blessing to others. Give me wisdom in handling my affairs. In Jesus' Name. Amen!" This is a genuine prayer that is written as the desire of my heart also.

  6. 1.If it was left up to me, I would do just about everything that was in my heart I thought was right; but everything I think isn't right. I find to my disappointment that I was wrong. "Wow.. how could I have missed that". That is why it is so important to invite God to examine my heart.
    2.A few behaviors that lead to prosperity are:
    -honest work
    -getting to work on time and doing your best
    - not spending every dime you make, SAVE.
    -Giving to God and to others.
    -good planning
    3. A few behaviors that lead to poverty are:
    -going for the quick money and fast living.
    -getting to work whenever you get there, and
    having a million excuses why you can't
    -having that "I'm living for today"
    attitude. "Eat drink for tomorrow we
    -poor planning
    4. From the lesson today I have learned:
    -Being rich is not a sin or a bad thing
    that Christians should avoid believing
    God for.Prosperity is from the Lord.
    -God prospers his people so we can give.
    -Go to God for everything even for the things
    you think are right.
    -Remember, it's OK most times to wait for
    the things we want.
    -Nothing, absolutely nothing is free,
    riches or poverty we work to get one
    or the other.

  7. 1.The importance of inviting God to examine our hearts will correct our motives and desires, to lead us in ways that are righteous and honorable.
    2. Behaviors that lead to prosperity are good planning, being considerate of the poor, honesty, exercising good judgement and diligence, and a willingness to work.
    3. Behaviors that lead to poverty are, not having a plan, deceipt, not having a generous heart, wasteful living,and haste.
    4. I will purpose to follow God's lead, by allowing Him to continuely examine my heart, being honest, and being considerate of the poor.

  8. 1.What is the importance of inviting God to examine our hearts?
    God reveals to us the truth; that we may not be able to see on our own. As we attemp to examine our own motives and intentions we are sometimes blind cited and will totally miss the heart of God.
    2.What are some behaviors that lead to prosperity?
    Hard work, honesty, integrity, giving, living a Godly life style, helping those in need and using the wisdom of God in every decision we make.
    3.What are some behaviors that lead to poverty?
    being lazy, lack of planning, lack of education, wasting money on things that are not important or unnecessary, games of chance and other schemes.
    4.What actions will you take today related to this lesson? We will be wise in our spending by planning and searching out a matters before engaging in them.