“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” – 3 John 2
What does it mean to prosper? If you reach for a dictionary you might find it defined as the act of succeeding in material terms or being financially successful. But what does the Bible say it is? The word translated as “prosper” in this verse is actually two words in the original Greek – one meaning “to help on the road” and the other meaning to “succeed in reaching.” Prospering, then, can be seen as a successful journey where help is available every step of the way. God wants this for you! He wants you to prosper.
Prosperity isn’t restricted to financial endeavors. In the scripture above, John indicates that he is praying for his friend to prosper in all things. ALL things! He specifically mentions health here, but all things would include things such as relationships, spiritual growth and education, too.
The scripture relates our ability to prosper in all things to our soul’s ability to prosper. Humans are “triune” beings – we have a body, a spirit and a soul. Our body is our physical frame – our limbs, muscles, hormones, intestines and such. Our spirit can be described as our consciousness; a place where we can be aware of God and connect with the mind of Christ. Our soul is the seat of our mind, emotions and will. This scripture is suggesting that our overall prosperity in life is related to how, and how well, we prosper in the areas of our mind, emotions and will. The way that we think, feel and decide sets the tone for how we prosper in life!
We must be intentional about these areas of the mind, emotions and will, and purpose to prosper in them. In Romans 12:2 Paul says “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” God transforms our mind as we read and meditate on his Word. This sort of transformation brings the soul more into line with the mind, emotions and will of God himself and it causes our soul to prosper. And as our soul prospers, so will we prosper in all things!