Every night before she goes to sleep, my six-year-old places a Token of Change™ on her forehead and affirms, “I am grateful. I am kind. I create what’s on my mind. Perfect health… Prosperity… My world reflects the change in me.” If you ask her what prosperity means, she’ll tell you, “Prosperity means we have everything we need and enough to share with others.”

My husband recently reminded me that we are in the midst of a recession. Yet when I look around me, I see how blessed I am to have everything I need and enough to share with others. There’s a wonderful fable called Stone Soup that shows how sharing creates prosperity. You know the story.

A tired and hungry traveler finds himself in a village where everyone sadly claims there is no food to share. The traveler borrows an empty pot, builds a fire, and starts boiling some water. He removes a large stone from his pocket. He holds it up to the sunlight as if to inspect it, and then brings it to his nose, inhaling deeply. He carefully drops the stone into the boiling water and begins to stir. He continues stirring, smelling and tasting as if he were preparing the most mouth-watering meal.

Soon the villagers’ curiosity gets the better of them. When they ask what he is doing, he tells them that he can make the most wonderful soup from a stone…which would be even better if only he had a little of this or a touch of that for flavor. As the villagers begin to share individual, small portions of ingredients, the stone soup turns into a delicious and nourishing meal for everyone.

How do you define prosperity? Too often we equate prosperity with money and wonder if it is such a good thing after all. Many of us consider money to be a “necessary evil.” Necessary because there are few ways to obtain food, clothing and shelter in our society without money, and evil because Jesus said it’s easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25).

But I don’t believe Jesus was saying that money is evil. Instead, he was contrasting security in this world based on what is external with security in the Kingdom of God, which is internal. Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21). A person who is surrounded by wealth and riches does seem more likely to fix his trust in the world around him than to focus his attention on discovering the Kingdom of God within.

Jesus turns our ideas of wealth inside out. It makes sense if we understand the difference between enjoying abundance and accumulating wealth for its own sake. The accumulation of wealth too often arises out of a fear of not having our needs met. Prosperity does not accumulate; it flows. It does not lay up treasures on earth believing that there’s not enough to go around or that the only way to get anything is to take it from someone else.

What if, instead of viewing the world as a zero sum proposition where we must all compete for limited, external resources, we looked within ourselves for prosperity? Would we find the Kingdom of God? Would we find the talents and energy to create abundance in this world? If we give just a little more than we take, will it come back to us pressed down, shaken together and running over? (Luke 6: 28). I believe it will.

Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all of these things will be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33). The Kingdom of God is within YOU—right here, right now. Believing is seeing. Recession-proof prosperity is yours if you know where to look.

Author's Bio: 

Laurie Gray earned her B.A. from Goshen College in 1986 and her J.D. from Indiana University School of Law in 1993. A former high school teacher and experienced trial attorney, Laurie is currently a part-time Deputy Prosecutor working with drug addicts and juvenile delinquents. Laurie is also an author, public speaker and founder of Socratic Parenting, LLC. For more information on Laurie’s writing projects, please visit www.SocraticParenting.com
and www.TokenofChange.com