Whether I am participating in a program among New-Thought (New-Age) circles or visiting a more conservative Christian pulpit, I bump up against the same interpretation and reasoning around the concept of abundance. It sounds something like this.
Christian version: If you embrace God’s will for your life, God will bless you with material prosperity. (i.e. You will get rich.)
New-Thought version: If you come into alignment with Universal principles, you will be able to manifest material wealth beyond your wildest dreams. (i.e. You will get rich.)
To my Christian friends, I would say this: When Jesus spoke of abundance, he was talking about honoring life, the Spirit of All life, with a shared respect and joie de vivre for our mutually unique positions in the Kingdom, because we are all part of the same Body.
Why not take a materialistic reading on the idea of Christian abundance? When Jesus gathered his disciples, did he wait for anyone to pack a bag? No. He also exemplified the Eastern spiritual principle of non-attachment, where one gives freely and receives freely in accordance with Universal abundance.
Thus, those who are truly free and walking in their highest Light do not hold many personal belongings, but rely upon providing and being provided for by the Divine hand as need arises. And, lest we forget, a materialistic reading on the issue of abundance leads us down the path of at least three of the classical Christianity’s Seven Deadly Sins: greed, lust and gluttony.
To my New-Thought friends, I would say this: If you come into alignment with Universal principles, your desire for personal, material wealth will dissolve and be supplanted by a sincere desire on the part of your cleansed, connected and unified heart to serve.
You will experience, more than anything, the desire to have energy to flow out of and around you instead of attempting to hold energy in and around yourself by collecting more stuff. (Material belongings really act as a means by which we attempt to uphold our notions of who we are in relationship to society or community.)
And, if “wealth” comes to you, you will want nothing more than to share it. Thus, abundance will transform itself into generosity, one of classical Christianity’s Seven Virtues.
Abundance is about sharing what we have, our gifts, health, joy, good humor and abilities.