In Chinese culture, prosperity and material wealth are often emphasised as indicators of success. Many of the greetings exchanged during the festive season revolve around abundance, prosperity and fortune.
Here are some popular sayings that are often spoken (or yelled out) during the lou sang (prosperity toss) and exchanged when we visit family and friends:
- 恭喜发财 (Gong Xi Fa Cai) – prosperity and good fortune to you
- 年年有余 (Nian Nian You Yu) – abundance every year
- 大吉大利 (Da Ji Da Li) – good luck and big profit
There’s nothing wrong with seeking provision to care for your family and future. God desires us to be prosperous. However, His idea of abundance goes far beyond material wealth and possessions (the Bible warns us of the dangers of becoming wealth-obsessed).
Then [Jesus] said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”Luke 12:15
Biblical prosperity begins from the inside
In 3 John 1:2, the Apostle John says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
It is when our soul prospers that our lives will prosper in every way as well. God has promised peace, provision and security, everything that we need to thrive and carry out His purposes for us. This is if we obey His commandments and walk in His ways.
This may not mean a life of earthly comfort, but there will be food on the table, a roof over our heads and a community of believers to spur us on. But beyond the physical is where true Biblical prosperity comes in: peace, joy, love, contentment, and eternal life — money and wealth cannot buy these.
So, consider speaking life and spiritual blessings over your family and loved ones this Chinese New Year. Here are some greetings to keep in your pocket:
“With God’s abundance, may you abound in every good work!”
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8
“Healing for your body, strength for your bones.”
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones. – Proverbs 3:7-8
“He is your Provider, and will meet your every need.”
And my God will supply your every need according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19
“You will excel in all you do as you follow God’s commands.”
The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. – Deuteronomy 28:13
“May the peace of God free you from all anxiety!”
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
“God bestows favour, honour and every good thing upon you.”
The Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. – Psalm 84:11
May you be blessed and encouraged this New Year
Chinese New Year is a time of celebration, recollection and making of new memories with family, friends and loved ones. If you are celebrating, we wish you and your family a blessed time of God’s peace, prosperity and protection as you balik kampung and gather to welcome the new year!
Cover Image: Jason Leung on Unsplash