Is It Always Cocaine Or Prostitution That Makes People Rich?

Feature Article Is It Always Cocaine Or Prostitution That Makes People Rich?

Just recently a video of the mansion of Ghanaian actress Jackie Appiah surfaced on social media. I am not sure if she wanted it to be outdoored or someone leaked it into the public. It raised a lot of public discussions about the source of her wealth and how she could have afforded such a luxurious mansion. Whilst some were accusing her of being 'ashawo' (prostitute) others were of the view that she has earned it and can enjoy it.

Here are my few questions: why do we always have to attribute people's success to evil sources? Is it only the devil who makes people rich and successful? Why can't we learn from these people unless proven that they are doing dubious ventures? Lastly, why is it that when people are poor, they are not accused of contracting blood money or 'ashawo'?

As a nation and a people in Ghana and even Africa, I think we fail to celebrate success and learn from what others have been able to do. We see a man making it and then raise the eyebrow that he is doing cocaine. Then we see a woman doing well in career or business and tag it 'ashawo' (sleeping with multiple men for favour). It seems to me that part of the contributing factors to our problems include a demonic stronghold that keeps blinding our eyes to learn from people and nations doing well.

But this is not to say that people can do anything to succeed without being questioned if we so need to. My point is: we have no business accusing people of blood money and evil when we have no shroud of evidence to support it.

We live in a nation where there are many people doing amazingly well but cannot even come out to share how they succeeded. If they come out, someone will accuse them of evil money or cutting corners. This spirit cannot help to build a progressive people and nation.

When the late American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie saw real underdevelopment, poverty and financial struggle with the teeming population of the USA in his day and time, he partnered with Napoleon Hill to interview wealthy people including industrialists such as Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Elmer R. Gates, Thomas Edison, and Luther Burbank to come up with a simple success model to help the ordinary people. (Wikipedia) Carnegie knew something we are failing to learn: when we learn from successful people and do what they do, we shall get the results they get. King Solomon summed it up this way: "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise." (Proverbs 6:6 NKJV)

What does the Bible teach us about wealth creation and enjoying it?

#1. The Common Grace Of God Can Prosper People

The Bible teaches that there is the common grace of God that is made available to the just and the unjust. Hence, it doesn't take only Christians to enjoy God's blessings in creation. Acts 17:28 says that in Him we live and move and have our being. Matthew 5:45 says that God makes His rain and sun to be enjoyed by both the righteous and the unrighteous. Genesis 8:22 proves that the principle of sowing and reaping is available to all people. In fact, after Adam and Eve had disobeyed God, they were still able to enjoy common grace by making a family, tilling the land, creating technology, and raising children (Genesis 4).

We must understand that God's unmerited favour flows to both the righteous and the unrighteous. Hence, you don't need to be a Christian to be financially rich in this life. If we abide by the principles laid in creation, we can become wealthy and live well on this earth. If Jackie made her money genuinely, she is at liberty to enjoy God's common grace. Note that we may not be privy to what she is doing to help others. Hard work, diligence and wise investment can make one rich and be in a position to help others.

#2. The Lord Prospers His Own

Even though there is the existence of common grace, it doesn't end there. Enjoying creation is limiting. God has blessed the just in Christ with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1). The blessings of the Lord makes one rich and adds no sorrow to it. (Proverbs 10:22) God prospered Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the whole nation of Israel.

So basically, the just are at a greater advantage than the unjust. Our blessings continue even after this life but the unjust have theirs truncated.

#3. We Can Learn From Both Just & Unjust

The Bible tells a story of how the Queen of Sheba came to King Solomon to learn of what the Lord had done through him. It was a heathen ruler who had wisdom to know that we can learn from others who are succeeding. She came to observe Solomon's infrastructure and service due to the wisdom of God in his life. The Bible says that there was no more spirit in her. She was simply impressed. (1 Kings 10)

Here is the lesson from the Queen of Sheba: we can learn from both the righteous and the unrighteous about how to live life here on earth and become wealthy. Of course there are worldly strategies we must not swallow but just taste and spit out. I am referring to things that are legitimate including hard work, diligence, perseverance, determination and so on. If we build a nation with a limiting mindset that everything someone does great is dubious, we shall soon realize we are marking time and going nowhere. For you as a person, throw away any traits of the spirit of spotting bad things about people's success and learn from them.

We have a long way to go. Other people are doing what we want to do and get to where they are now. We must be humble and learn from them. I mean, what does it take from us if we saw this mansion of our Sister Jackie and said to ourselves that if she has done it, we can do it too? We will lose nothing. It would rather empower us to take the pieces of our lives together, step out like Nehemiah in the Bible and rebuild the ruined areas of our lives.

May God take off the scale of seeing bad things in people's success from our eyes and empower us to learn from other people

Eric Otchere

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