Greed vs. Generosity

The best relationship principles taught by the experts come straight from the relationship values taught by Jesus. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that my relationships, both with God and with others, are most directly affected by unresolved issues inside my heart—you know, that invisible, mysterious, confusing, wonderful part of each of us that enables us to love, laugh, fear, and experience life. It’s the place where relationships are built - and broken. The unresolved issues in your heart will eventually work their way to the surface and seep into your relationships. When I think of my most embarrassing moments and my biggest regrets, more often than not they have something to do with my relationSLIPs. The time to address the slippage is now.

For greedy people, stuff equals life. Greed feels reasonable, because it’s motivated by fear and an endless list of “what if’s?” Greedy people never feel they have enough. They are never at peace with themselves or others which erodes their relationships. They ruin long-term relationships over stuff with a very short shelf-life. When you make stuff more important than people, you’ll eventually have no people. 

Message Notes

Guilt says, “I owe you.”
It requires confession, starting the process of repentance, restitution, and restoration.

Anger says, “You owe me.”
A healthy heart requires forgiveness.

Greed says, “I owe me.”
Of the four enemies of the heart, this one is most subtle.

A greedy person

believes he has earned all the good things in his life,
has a determined desire to control them,
has a supersized sense of ownership,
and makes people feel like they compete with his stuff.

Greed is fueled by fear—

fear that God can’t or won’t take care of me.

Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in abundance of possessions.”
Luke 12:15

Then he tells the story of a wealthy farmer in Luke 12:16-21

  • He overlooked the God-factor in accounting for his good fortune and wealth.

  • He hoarded his extra.

  • He overlooked the God-factor in determining his life-span.

  • He ran out of time before he ran out of stuff and money.

  • Someone else got his stuff.

God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? This is how it will be with everyone who stores up things for themselves but is not rich towards God.”
Luke 12:20-21

The moral of the story:
If “storing up” outpaces your “willingness to give,” you will suffer a complete loss of all you considered to be “life” when your time runs out.

What is God up to when he allows you to have more than you actually need?

  • Not to provide for your adult children

  • Not to provide you peace of mind

  • Not to elevate your standard of living

You don’t have to be wealthy to be greedy.
Greed is conquered by the habit of generosity.

True generosity is not giving something with compassion.
True generosity is not evidenced by what you FEEL, but by what you do.
True generosity is giving that actually affects your lifestyle.

Two habits to cultivate:

  • Percentage Giving

  • Spontaneous Giving

Bottom Line

Generosity has the power to revolutionize your relationships.

Next Steps

  1. Honestly ask God how generosity could change your personal relationships.

  2. Ask God what he wants you to do with all your resources.

  3. Realize you are a manager/steward, not an owner.

  4. Start today.