On Sunday we looked at this topic of greed – something that is prevalent everywhere. We looked at how Greed plays with our emotions and makes us feel poorer and worse than we always are. We end up comparing our lives with those a few notches above us, without realizing how blessed we are compared to the world. Greed so easily catches our emotions, plays with them, and then cajoles us into habits that aren’t healthy. And Greed can do this with anyone rich or poor. Greed feeds the idea that what will make us happy, secure, and important is money. But this simply isn’t true and has been shown again and again not to be true. The problem is that it feels true. It feels as if more money will make us more happy. It feels as if more money will make us more secure. It feels as if more money will make us more important. But it never does.
Paul says chasing after money in 1 Timothy 6 leads to being trapped, snared, destruction, and difficulty. And this is true, chasing after money always ends badly but we keep doing it.
So on Sunday we tried to break the power of Greed over us by recognizing two things. First, Greed robs us of life. Paul reminds us that Greed is fickle, unreliable, and controlling. But that God is a giver of abundance. He says in 1 Timothy 6: 17-18 that if we live with generosity, being rich in good deeds, trusting in God, we will experience true life. And I think this is true. The depth of life that God has for us is experienced when we care for others, when we do good deeds, and trust in him. As we serve, live, and work well – as we give generously meeting other’s needs – as we grow deeper with God – we experience the depth of life that God has for us.
So to break Greed we looked at three simple steps. The first is to focus our trust in God. Greed steals trust from God. Greed tells us that no one else can provide for us but it. But we need to give that trust back to God who is our provider, protector, and caring Father.
The second thing we need to do is to be generous. Generosity breaks greed every time. This is why it’s so important to get into the habit of giving. And Paul actually gives us some great advice in 1 Tim. 6:17 he says “be ready to share with others”. Some of us to really break Greed and be free from it need to get our debt, budgets, and balance sheets in order. We need to do the hard work of getting back on track so that we can be ready to share with others. So that when needs come, we aren’t wracked with guilt from Greed, but can overflow in generosity from trust in God.
And lastly, Paul reminds us to be rich in good deeds. We need to continue to serve others, and reach out. A lifestyle of outward focus makes giving easier, and being greedy harder.
So this is where we landed on Sunday but it’s something we need to look at again and again. Because Greed is hard to break. But as we trust, give, and serve I believe not only can we break Greed, but be free from Greed. And that is a good place to be.
Big Idea: Greed robs us of life.
- We think that money will make us happy, secure, and important.
- Greed doesn’t bring life
- The more greed captures my heart, the less I like myself.
- Relativation Deprivation: comparing ourselves to those around us unequally
- Greed plays on our feelings
- Greed robs us of life.
- Greed breaks its promises to us every…single…time.
- We need to transfer our trust from Greed to God
- God help me to trust in you, and not my bank account
- Generosity breaks greed.
- “Be ready to share”
- Be rich in good deeds.
- What can you do to deepen your trust in God?
- Who can I give to this week?
- And how can I get ready to give?
- What good deed can I do this week”
Adult / Group Discussion Questions: What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? How did God speak to you through it? What was new? When has Greed had a grip on you before? How did it feel? What was it like? Would you agree that many people think money will bring them happiness, security, and importance? What do you think about that? How have you personally seen Greed rob someone of true life? How have you seen Greed break its promises to people? Which of the three steps: trusting, giving, or doing good is easiest for you? Which one is hardest? How come? Which one is God asking you to focus on? How can you “be ready to share”? What are some next steps to take? Who can you share your card from Sunday with for support?
Discussion Questions / Actions for Young Families: Today talk to your kids about the sin of greed. Why not take a moment and go through some of their toys and show them online how many kids have nothing. Take a look online and show them the type of houses many kids live in. Talk to them about kids who don’t have any toys. Then maybe consider giving away some of their toys together to a worthy place or doing a little garage sale and giving the money to worthy cause.
Challenge for this Week: Give up on greed by: trusting, giving, and doing good.