If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:11)
Parents love their children. They want them to prosper in every way. Yes, the most important dimension is their eternal salvation, and godly parents pray for their children to understand and embrace the gospel. They teach them the Bible and nurture their souls to seek Christ in all things.
But the soul is not the entire person. Every parent instinctively knows this and works toward the development of the whole person in the lives of his children.
What parent would be content for his child to come to faith in Christ and not develop in every domain of life? What father could be at peace for his school-age son to read his Bible, go to church, pray–in short, to do all the normal “Christian” activities–but neglect his studies? Or fail in his job? Or be a social misfit, lacking the ability to connect with people and develop healthy relationships?
To say that God cares about the whole person is to say that God is a Father. In fact, as Jesus points out, God’s perfect nature renders him a perfect Father. If a human father wants his children to prosper, could God want anything less for His children?
This truth, like any, is corruptible. Some have twisted the concept into a prosperity gospel of the “health and wealth” variety. But that exploitation does not reduce the validity of God’s original intentions as declared in Genesis 1:26-31. Man is a steward of all that God has made. He has dominion and the responsibility to develop the creation to flourish. That includes proclaiming the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, and it includes building godly culture through education, and the arts, and economics, and the media, and business, and government.
It includes pursuing truth, beauty, and goodness in every domain. This is the calling of the disciple, one who obeys Christ in all that he commanded (Matthew 28:20).
– Gary Brumbelow