Lesson 8 — The Gospel of Prosperity
Text Reference: Chapters 10 and 14
- DYNAMICS FOR LIVING (Fillmore)
- PROSPERITY (Fillmore) — the whole book
- WHAT ARE YOU? (Shanklin), p. 123
- LIFE IS FOR LIVING (Butterworth), p. 96
Significant Concepts To Be Covered
- It is vital that the student get a right attitude toward money and security. This is the “hang-up” of many people today. An important preface to any study of prosperity is given in the comments relative to Jesus’ “treasure in heaven” idea.
- “The single eye” concept is vital in Jesus’ teachings, and it is highly important to the Divinity of Man principle. Be certain that the student understands what it means to be “single-eyed” to Truth.
- Ye cannot serve God and mammon. What you acknowledge to be your master, to that you are a servant. This is why the rich young man turned sorrowfully away. It says “he had great possessions”, but actually — great possessions had him. The test of whether we really believe that God is our supply — is when we are facing a financial crisis. As one man said, “Many times I have been broke but I have never been poor.” In other words, “I believe even when my pocket is empty — especially then.”
- Seek first the Kingdom....and all these things shall be added. This is an important fundamental in Truth — seek first to be and you will have. Man must never lose sight of the fact that he is a spiritual being, with a changeless relationship with the Infinite. No matter what happens in the outer, if he stirs up his faith in the inner man — outer things will respond to something transcendent. Within him, man has the whole Universe on his side — he is “destiny’s darling.”
- The feeding of the five thousand contains some vital concepts to tho Truth student. Man is an integral part of an opulent Universe. From the larger view it can supply abundance as easily as it can sustain a little. Thus we see that the miracle begins in the receptivity of the mind, the faith to believe and act on that belief. P. 96 of LIFE IS FOR LIVING will throw added light on the miracle of the 5,000.
- “God supplies every need” — but God cannot supply lack! Lack is not a condition but an attitude of mind. An empty cup is a need if it is held under the faucet to get water. It is lack if it is hoarded empty in self-pity, or even if it is held under the faucet — upside down. Solving the poverty problem, thus, involves healing the thought of poverty, the self-pity, the resignation, the feeling of unworthiness, etc.
- The Prosperity Consciousness — is the key to Jesus’ teaching of abundance. Be sure the student knows what this means, and how to achieve it.
- It would be timely to give some thought to the spiritual ideal relative to the “war on poverty”. Is it possible for everyone to enjoy prosperity or is there a limit to the productivity of the world and the substance of the Universe? Charles Fillmore’s concept seems highly pertinent here.
Added Commentary Relevant to Chapters 10 and 14:
The thing that Jesus and Paul emphasize is that money is a symbol; and when you make a symbol an object instead of a means, then it becomes a kind of influece it was never intended to have. A good example is the Christian cross. It started out as a symbol of the dynamic Christian way, a reminder of the tremendous overcoming power in man. It was a signpost that pointed to the goal of individual overcoming, and it was a mark of fellowship for those who were on the path together. However, in time the symbol became an object of worship. Men adore and worship the cross. The result: that which started out as a guide-post pointing to the goal of the overcoming power of the indwelling Christ has become a distortion of tho whole Christian ideal. So it is with money. That which is intended to be simply a medium of exchange, becomes the sole object of life for many people.
If our whole attention is centered upon material things, stocks and bonds, jobs, clothes, houses, jewels, and cars — and if it appears that with them we have security and without them we are insecure — then we have trapped ourselves in a mighty precarious existence. We are dangling at the end of a string like a “yo-yo” that is bobbing up and down, ever-threatening to run out of spinning power or perhaps to fall off completely. From day to day, our attention is glued to the stock market reports, our peace of mind depends on whether our employers appreciate us and are contemplating giving us a raise in salary.
There is an interesting thing about money — the paper money in your purse or wallet is supposed to represent so much gold and silver. Actually, there is many times as much currency printed as there is gold or silver to back it up. This causes some economists to cringe — but wealth is in ideas, not in money or property. And you can control these ideas through the mind.
Think for a moment about numbers. Suppose all numbers were made out of metal and that it was against the law to write numbers for yourself. Every time you wanted to do a sum in arithmetic, you would have to provide a supply of numbers, arrange them in their proper order, work out your problem with them. If your problems were complicated, you might well run out of numbers. You would have to borrow them from your neighbor or from a “number bank”.
Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? — because numbers are not things, they are mere ideas, and we can add them or divide them or multiply them or subtract them as often as we like. Anyone can have all the numbers he wants. I can work out problems in my head without even writing the numbers on paper, because the numbers don’t have to be written or formed and shaped to work. Numbers are also enabling factors.
See the parallel with money: money is a symbol, but it symbolizes something that is without limit. Where we are in the thought of lack, we run to our neighbor or to the bank. But Jesus went forth “without script or purse.” He could work the “figures” in His head. When we have a need in some legitimate project, we should give thanks that “My God shall fill every need of yours according to His riches.”
On the matter of “turning around” — Often a student of metaphysics will make a firm resolution to make a clean break from dealing with mataria medica. He will say, “I am going all the way with God. I am going to believe that my health is in God and not in pills.” So he will clean out his medicine case of all pills and prescriptions and remedies. Out they go into the ash can...every last bottle! Well ... nearly every one. “This bottle of pills has been mighty helpful in emergencies. I will just secrete this one way back in the cupboard. No one will ever know. Anyway, you never can tell!” So ... after his determined resolution to go all the way — he has turned around. Chances are it will be only a few days until he is mighty happy that the pills are available. He might even congratulate himself on his good judgment. He will probably never admit to himself that his grand opportunity for couplete healing went glimmering in the moment of testing — when he turned around. “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
On the “sufficient unto today” themes:
“Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of life.
In its brief course lie all the Verities
and Realities of your Existence:
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty.
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And tomorrow is only a Vision;
But today well-lived makes every
Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn.