You find yourself in hardship: out of work, business is bad, you owe for the rent, you owe for the rusty old car
, you owe for utilities, etc.
Then you come across what might be called an unexpected blessing. All of a sudden, or so it seems, you get money, you get a new job, you can now pay your bills, maybe you can even get a new car or a Big Fancy House
. But most of all, you are now ecstatic at your sudden good fortune.
You share this incredible story, usually in front of a group of people, perhaps at an event where your testimony is invited. Or you share it on the internet. So you tell the story and ...
you never quite say how you received your drastic change of financial health or material wealth. You Hand Wave
this Contrived Coincidence
as a gift from an unseen or even divine force. You attribute your new-found happiness to Good Fortune From God
. Below is an illustration of it in Real Life
, as it is source of many examples of this.
"Thanks for all your prayers. A prayer partner prayed with me concerning my rent. It was behind because Iíve recently been out of work. After the prayer of agreement the Lord blessed me with money to pay my rent and my motherís rent. Then the Lord blessed me with a 1-year lease even though I donít currently have any income. God is so good! Thereís more. The Lord blessed me with another lump sum of money and with that money I was able to get my car back that had been repossessed. Now I can get back out there and look for employment."
The key is that one is given an unexpected blessing, usually a sudden windfall of money or property, of which how it was received is left unexplained. In not revealing the actual source, credit is given to faith in a deity, a divine being, or some other higher power. How the "blessing" was given is never explicitly stated, literally or metaphorically. Essentially, Deus ex Machina
is credited for material gain.
The being or power is considered to be the source of unexpected prosperity. In case there is any doubt about God-Given good grace
being indeed God-given, proponents may cite scripture
to make their point.
Beliefs in Good Fortune From God
are ancient in origin and have been featured in fictional works. Because the source of the fortune remains a mystery, the self-described recipient may really be a Mock Millionaire
, even if Conspicuous Consumption
is part of the testimony. Whether by quoting words or showing off, the idea is to make a show without revealing the source of the new-found wealth.
Good Fortune From God
, as seen typically in Real Life
, occurs with or without a deity. The higher power can be vague (as in the "name it, claim it"
advice given in self-help works) or very specific (God or Jesus in churches that follow the Prosperity Theology movement)
. In the latter, it can be a tool for Easy Evangelism
, and such a notion has been criticized for treating divinity like a Benevolent Genie
Therefore, a reader or a listener is not certain if the windfall was literally given by such a divine being or in fact could have been something truly unexpected, say, finding an envelope of cash on the ground. However, giving credit to an unseen power can have much impact emotionally.
While no deaths are reported, this is similar for its non-explanation to Unexplained Recovery
Compare with Religion Is Magic
and Logical Fallacies
Anime and Manga
Supplementary materials to Shingeki No Kyojin
reveal that the Wall Around The World was apparently conveniently there when humanity was fleeing the Titans; people privy to conspiracy secrets jumped on this and called it a gift from god.
Films - Live Action
- Moist von Lipwig invokes this in MakingMoney. After Reacher Gilt has the Post Office burned down, Moist fakes a divine message arriving into his head, runs off with a spade, and returns with an enormous pile of money (all of the money he'd stolen and stashed away before being caught). This being Ankh-Morpork, he is soon confronted by just about every priest in the city who claims that their god requires an expensive sacrifice as thanks for the windfall.
Non Fiction Literature
- While not strictly this trope, Gene Simmons very much illustrated how it is expressed:
God gives you a wallet, and you can have less money or more, what would you pick?
- In the Genesis song "Jesus He Loves Me," there is illustration of what often gives rise to this trope, and it's not always in the religious sense:
There'll be no doubt in your mind
You'll believe everything I'm saying
If you wanna get closer to him
Get on your knees and start paying
- The Secret is perhaps the best-known non-theistic example, given its Daydream Believer approach toward seeking what is desired.
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad has a twist to this trope. Like it, the source of Bob Kiyosaki's wealth is never revealed explicitly, although he only credited "Rich Dad" for the advice that made his alleged wealth possible. But he went even further, for he has never positively identified the eponymous "Rich Dad."
- In Kingdoms Of Amalur Reckoning, the followers of Lyria tend to share this view. Particularly notable in the town of Tirin's Rest, which turns away starving refugees because they obviously deserve their fate.
- The Viper Clan in Goblins consists of goblin supremacists who believe that they are divinely ordained to rule over all goblins, and eventually all other races, and take the fact that they are one of the most powerful clans as proof that they are the chosen ones of Maglubiyet, the goblin deity. Dies Horribly turns this logic against them by arguing that if they're only successful because Maglubiyet favors them, they can't take credit for, or pride in anything they do.
Carl: Look, your baby wants a car, make him yank out a freakin' Lamborghini out of midair!
Meatwad: I'm afraid that would be a vulgar display of his power.
- The Simpsons: Homer gets a (one-episode) boost on his faith when he discovers that every time he prays, his luck changes for the better. This makes him win bets, find lost pennies, get discounts and late in the episode get Springfield Church as settlement for accidentally falling on a hole in its terrain that he was convinced by an Ambulance Chaser to sue for.
- The terms "Charism" and "Charisma" are essentially this.
- This was a very common belief in Protestant Europe in past centuries: that the wealthy were chosen by God to be wealthy, and the poor were made poor by God (as opposed to society/economy). The belief that wealth was the sign of God's favor led to the "Protestant work ethic" and the Western value placed on money solely for money's sake (as opposed to what it can buy). This was a core building block founding modern capitalist ideology.
- This is still a common belief. See things like Prosperity Theology. In the United States, the Trope Codifiers can be seen preaching inside megachurches or on some Sunday morning religious programs.
- In Thailand, there is an emerging Buddhist movement known as [[www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/may-24-2013/decline-of-buddhism-in-thailand/16592/ Dhammakaya,]] which is similar to the Prosperity Gospel in using meditation to increase material gain.
- An infamous remark by Ramzan Kadyrov, president of the Russian autonomous republic of Chechnya. He claimed that "Allah gives us money to develop the republic", while it's common knowledge that the money comes from the Russian budget to ensure Chechnya's loyalty to the federal center.