All of creation is made and designed to give - sun, clouds, earth, oceans, plants, animals. Yet we as God’s supreme creation, in our fallenness, are most reluctant of all of creation to give. Why is that? Why do we often find it so hard to live generously?
Some answers come easily: greed, self-interest, fear, ego, “it’s mine - I want it!” (All of which reflect the reasons the Enemy rebelled against the Father to start all this mess).
Why is talking about money - how much we make and what we do with it - so taboo, so secretive, even offensive (like we’ve just been asked to take our clothes off)?
Could part of the answer be the lies of this very Enemy that we have believed about the importance of it? That it defines us.
In Luke 12:34 Jesus tells us that “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” That means I am generous to what and who I love and treasure. It also means I will love and treasure what and who I am generous to. The one is re-active and the other is active. Both are true.
Read the Moment:
As we think and talk about your $tuff and what you do with it, what is the filter through which it passes?
Is it resistance or reluctance? Is there guilt or shame? Is there confusion or clarity?
Reflect on the Moment:
What does your checkbook or credit card statement say about what you treasure?
Where do you find it easy to live generously? Where do you find it difficult? Can you identify why?
Respond to the Moment:
Is there any place that you think you need to acknowledge and confess to God?
Where, specifically, can I live more generously and open-handedly?
With my $tuff?
With my life?
Week 1 - Identify and name one or two specific places where you can live more generously, more open-handedly this week? Look for and create opportunities to do it.
Week 2 - Honestly examine your generosity - specifically your giving. What do you see that is encouraging and what do you see that is disturbing or challenging?
Week 3 - In Luke 12:13-21 Jesus tells a parable about the “rich fool”. What is your version of “bigger barns”?
Week 4 - Eugene Peterson said, “The fullest expression of our faith is generosity.” Ask God every day this week to give you more and more of the “attitude of Christ” (Phil. 2:5-8)
SETTING THE TABLE
Opener : Everyone talk about the people they know who are the most generous.
Discuss : What is it that we are attracted to in them? What impact has their generous life had on mine and others?
Closer : What can we do as a group to help each other live more generously?