Being Truly Prospered: The Four Facets of Prosperity

What do you have in mind when you hear the word “prosperity’? Many people associate it with being wealthy, and there is nothing wrong with that. But I believe prosperity is more than just being wealthy. Recently, I found a helpful concept on prosperity. C. Peter Wagner in his book The Church in the Workplace wrote that prosperity has four facets:

  1. Material prosperity
  2. Spiritual prosperity
  3. Physical prosperity
  4. Social prosperity

While the book is a Christian book, I believe these four facets of prosperity are applicable to everyone. By being able to see prosperity as multidimensional, we will able to truly prosper. Otherwise, there is a danger that we only experience an illusion of prosperity while we actually live in “poverty”.

Just think about this: someone may have wealth (material prosperity), but at the same time he could have a meaningless life (spiritual poverty), not being healthy (physical poverty), and have few real friends (social poverty). If we only take the narrow view of prosperity, we may think that he is prosper because of his wealth. Only after looking deeper and use a broader view will we realize that he more likely lives in poverty rather than prosperity!

On the other side, if we want to truly prosper, we must aim for prosperity in all four facets. The balance between them is important. Achieving prosperity in one aspect while ignoring the others is still poverty.

Now let’s take a deeper look at each of them:

1. Material prosperity

Financial abundance is the traditional measurement of prosperity, and with a good reason: it’s indeed important. Financial abundance allows you to live high-quality life, while at the same time having tremendous capability to help others.

There are basically two things you need to learn to achieve material prosperity:

  1. How to make money, and
  2. How to reduce unnecessary expenses

Here are some articles to help you get started:

And some books:

2. Spiritual prosperity

The standard here is different from person to person since everyone has his or her own belief. But in general it can be said that you achieve spiritual prosperity when:

  1. You have a satisfying spiritual life
  2. You know your life purpose
  3. You do things which matter to you

Here are some articles to help you:

And some books:

3. Physical prosperity

Physical prosperity means being physically healthy. Sometimes it takes us being sick to appreciate how precious it is to be healthy. Your effort to maintain your health boils down to three things:

  1. Having good rest
  2. Exercising
  3. Having good nutrition

Here are some articles to help you:

And a book:

4. Social prosperity

Relationships make life wonderful. Love is perhaps the most important human need, and we can only get it through genuine relationships. So invest your time in building rich relationships with others to be socially prospered.

Here are some articles to help you:

And some books:

This four-facet concept is very helpful for me. It gives me a complete picture of prosperity: a fulfilling and healthy life, with meaningful relationships and financial abundance. Now that’s what I call prosperity!

9 Comments

  1. I completely agree with the 4 categories of prosperity. In fact, I suspect we could generate another 4…or 14 categories. I would suggest that of the 4 stated above, Spiritual Prosperity is the most basic and that once that is achieved, it is much easier (and so much more likely) to achieve prosperity in all other categories.

  2. Tim,
    Yes, we can create some other categories of prosperity. But I think four is simple enough to remember and they already cover all essential things.
    I agree with you that spiritual prosperity is the most basic. It’s like the foundation for the other categories of prosperity.

  3. First off, thanks for keeping it simple. Four categories is easy to remember, and additional categories would just be subsets of these. You seem to have a knack of knowing when enough is enough.

    I am personally in a state of spiritual flux, but I feel like I am more prosperous than I have ever been. When I read your article, I replaced spiritual prosperity with emotional prosperity. For me that includes having a solid sense of self, emotional stability, and self-control. Being comfortable with who I am, and feeling very much in control of my future is the foundation that allows me to pursue prosperity in the other facets of my life.

    It definitely seems that something other than material prosperity has to be the foundation, because material wealth without the other pieces of the puzzle has created some very miserable men and women.

  4. Quint,
    I personally think that the emotional prosperity you described is a subset of spiritual prosperity. There is more in spiritual prosperity such as a sense of connectedness with something greater than us. I think it’s important, because otherwise I will feel that something is missing. But of course, this is just my personal opinion.

  5. thanks for the very informative and inspirational post. there are some phenomenal suggestions and i greatly appreciate it…

  6. Etavitom,
    Welcome! I’m glad you like it.

  7. […] always financial. In fact, I believe that poverty is multidimensional. It’s related to the four facets of prosperity: material, spiritual, physical, and social. Consequently, there are four kinds of poverty: material […]

  8. […] life, you should balance the aspects of life you manage. My favorite way of doing this is through the four facets of prosperity: physical, spiritual, social, and financial. Measuring each of them ensures that your life gets […]

  9. Nice article. I’m coming back to your blog just for this one! Unfortunately I can’t find any other resources about life management or life principles on the web. The mostly end up talking about time management which is not quite the same.
    I have been struggling with life philosophy for years now, and ended up on 6 principles: physical, mental, emotional, social, professional and financial.
    I must say I’m really glad to find this blog!

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