Prosperity In The Eyes Of God: Keys To A Prosperous Life, by Laura Quirino Castro
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Reedsy Discovery for the purposes of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
By and large, the prosperity gospel is one that is popular in many segments of mainstream Christianity and is something that is viewed by a large population of believers with unmitigated horror for its materialistic focus and its reduction of the providence of God. Yet this book provides a perspective on prosperity that reminds the fair-minded reader that there is a great deal more to the conception within the Bible of prosperity than is often understood by either those who promote a prosperity gospel or those who condemn it on the basis of its name alone without bothering to understand any of the nuance and details. In this particular case, the author does a good job at looking at the way in which obedience to God as well as the development of a loving relationship with God and an attitude of forgiveness and graciousness towards others, allows believers to prosper in a variety of ways that will be obvious to those around as a matter of course.
This particular book is a short one at around 80 pages, and is divided into seven relatively short chapters. After a short introduction the author discusses full prosperity as being something that includes but goes far beyond the traditional focus on material prosperity to include prosperity in health, one’s relationships, and one’s spiritual life with God (1). After that the author talks about having a heart that is pleasing to God, which requires us to wrestle with pride, resentment, and selfishness (2). This leads the author to discuss such issues as having a relationship with God (3) and the prayer and Bible study life of the believer (4). A short chapter on prosperity in health (5) follows before the author concludes the book with lengthier chapters on prosperity in the family–which includes a discussion of marriage as well as the single life and the importance of family members being forgiving and gracious towards each other (6)–as well as financial prosperity (7)–which includes thorny issues of tithing and the questions of whether or not we can induce God to bless us through our self-talk and our obedience to Him.
Even though this particular book offers a much broader perspective of prosperity than is often viewed to be the case by either proponents or critics of the prosperity gospel, this particular book still does have some problems. Central to these problems is the fact that the author’s level of writing English is very rudimentary and overly simplistic. Many of the sentences in this book consist only of a single phrase and avoid nuance and complexity by making continual assertions that such and such is true or that such and such will happen if one does such and such. A great deal of the problems that a reader would have in understanding this book and the author’s own interest in admitting to the nuance and complexity of how God’s will is made manifest in the lives of believers, would be mitigated had this book received some polish and some editing that would phrase such things in a more nuanced and less dogmatic style. And such editing may yet happen, as this is a book that does have much to offer in reminding those who are attracted by the prosperity gospel that the true prosperity we look for is the prosperity of our soul through our intimacy with God, and out of which pours fourth the manifestation of changes in our obedience and attitude that allow others to recognize the blessings going on in our lives through God’s presence and approval.