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How to Become a More Generous Person

As Jesus was speaking, one of the Pharisees invited him home for a meal. So he went in and took his place at the table. His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony required by Jewish custom. Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness! LUKE 11:37-39 NLT

I must be honest about the problem of greed

Such God-denying people are never content with what they have or who they are; their greed drives them relentlessly. JOB 20:20 MSG

Greed is oppressive
Greed is blinding
Greed is sin

But among you there must not be even a hint… of greed, because these are improper for the Lord’s people. EPHESIANS 5:3 NIV

Identify areas in my life where I might be greedy

Then he 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 NIV

My time
My things
My emotions
My affection
My words
My money

Understand the consequences of greed

Greed invites evil into my life

… When they grew up, Abel became a shepherd, while Cain cultivated the ground. When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected. “Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” GENESIS 4:2-7 NLT

Greed Creates conflict with those I love

Greed brings grief to the whole family, … PROVERBS 15:27 NLT

Greed destroys my soul

… Their specialty is greed, and they’re experts at it. Dead souls! 2 PETER 2:14 MSG

Work on becoming generous through giving

Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over. LUKE 11:40-41 NLT

According to Jesus…

Giving releases me from the power of greed

Giving cleanses me from the stain of greed

Giving pours the blessing of God over my life

Greed causes fighting; trusting the LORD leads to prosperity. PROVERBS 28:25 NLT

My Notes

Personal Reflection Guide

Find a quiet place away from distractions. Spend some time allowing your thoughts and emotions to become still, handing over any burdens you might be carrying today. When you are ready, invite God into a conversation about greed in your life. How would you define greed? Ask Him to help you discern where in your life you tend to be greedy (time, things, words, money, affection, etc.) What are your thoughts and feelings about what was revealed? What dangers do you see in being greedy in this area? Talk to God about how generosity could help you escape from the control of this sin and bring God’s blessings instead? Close your time by asking God to guide you into taking a generous action this week in the area where you tend to be greedy. Picture what your life could look like in the distant future by becoming a more generous person.

Discussion Questions

  1. Greed is an enemy of contentment, focusing our thinking on what we don’t have rather than what we do have. Why do you think it's so easy to see greed in others but not in ourselves?
  2. Greed is more than just money. People can be greedy with time, things, emotions, affection, words, wealth, power, status, and more. Where have you seen greed at its worst?
  3. Has there been a time when you have been greedy with your time, affection, words, or money with your family or friends? How did that affect you and your relationships?
  4. How have you experienced your generosity leading to God's blessing?
  5. Read Matthew 6:25-33 (NLT). Greed says I don’t have enough; God says you will always have enough. Where do you need to be reminded of this today?
  6. Next Steps: This week, pay attention to those times when you find yourself using the word “mine.” As you do, notice if these point to anything in particular, and invite God to bring about a spirit of generosity in these areas.