The Snare of Prosperity

It may keep one more humble and watchful in prosperity, to consider that among Christians many have been much the worse for it. How good had it been for some of them, if they had never known prosperity! When they were in a low condition, how humble, spiritual and heavenly they were but when advanced, what an apparent alteration has been upon their spirits! It was so with Israel; when they were in a low condition in the wilderness, then Israel was “holiness to the Lord:” but when they came into Canaan and were richly fed, their language was, ” We are lords, we will come no more unto thee”. Outward gains are ordinarily attended with inward losses; as in a low condition their civil employments were wont to have a savour of their religious duties, so in an exalted condition their duties commonly have a savour of the world. He, indeed, is rich in grace whose graces are not hindered by his riches. There are but few Jehosaphats in the world, of whom it is said, ” He had silver and gold in abundance, and his heart was lifted up in the way of God’s commands.” Will not this keep thy heart humble in prosperity, to think how dearly many godly men have paid for their riches; that through them they have lost that which all the world cannot purchase?

John Flavel, On Keeping the Heart (Kindle Edition, location 330)

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