These days most everyone is familiar with social media hashtags. These are the pound signs followed by a phrase that allows easy identification of a theme or message. If Jesus used hashtags, how would he label his messages concerning our resource management?
Most people have a deep misunderstanding of two very familiar words. What does Jesus say qualifies as greed? What is true generosity?
Generosity is not simply giving.
Generosity is “freely giving more than is necessary, expected, often at sacrifice.”
It is the “virtue of being unattached to material possessions, willing to give them for the sake of others.”
Greed is “the desire to get and retain more than is needed.”
Generosity and greed are defined practically by what we do with our “extra.”
We all have extra, but we don’t believe it. That’s because “extra” will never be satisfied.
Jesus defined greed as the assumption that my extras are for my consumption.
Luke 12:13-21; 33-34
Then someone called from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”
Jesus replied, “Friend, who made me a judge over you to decide such things as that?” Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”
Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
“Sell your possessions and give to those in need. NOT ALL>>>>EXTRA. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
- If you assume the extra is all for you, you need to make a correction.
- Planning your giving in advance with a percentage is the way to keep your heart in check.
- You need to be rich toward God.