Generosity & Simplicity

The sermon on May 22, 2016 was from Luke 12:13-21 in our Lord, Teach Us series.  Jesus taught us how greed comes from a wrongly directed hunger.  Greed arises, then, from our idolatry (Col. 3:5) and takes our eyes off Christ.   The ultimate goal for discipleship in this area is to replace greed with a hunger for Christ, who IS our life (Col 3:4).

 

Questions to help us expose our idolatries:

  • Where does your mind go when it’s left unchecked to roam? (“Your religion is what you do with your solitude,” William Temple ).
  • What dominates your thoughts?
  • What are your deepest fears?
  • Are there areas that “push a button” for uncontrollable emotion in your life – anger, fear, sadness?
  • Do you have any obsessions or addictions?
  • What does your budget reveal about your priorities?
  • What does your schedule reveal about your priorities?

 

Along the way, two time-honored disciplines that battle greed are Generosity & Simplicity.  Below you’ll find some questions of the heart and some practical suggestions toward this end that may serve as ideas and conversation starters.


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Generosity

 

Generosity undercuts greed by redirecting our hungers into channels that bless and love people.

 

 

 

  • Plan your giving. Be specific about percentages of your income.  Set up automatic drafts.
  • Volunteer in ways that take you outside of your comfort zone.
  • Write benevolence into your budget. Even if you have to start small, like 10/mo.  Then treat this as money you MUST use to bless someone else lavishly.
  • Seek God’s heart for the poor through study and prayer.
  • Give away the same amount of money that you spend on Christmas gifts. Take careful account of all Christmas spending you do, and make a commitment to give away an equal amount of money.  This curbs runaway spending, but also trains us to love God and others in the middle of that season.
  • Give TIME away at the same rate that you spend time in recreation.
  • Spend time getting to know someone who is without monetary resources. Befriend them.
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Simplicity

Richard Foster says, “The inward reality of simplicity involves a life of joyful unconcern for possessions.”   The outward expression of this inward reality guards against greed by building in boundaries that don’t let us hunger for more.

 

 

  • Purge STUFF: Every time you get an item of clothing, give another one away. New shirt?  Pick an old one to give away.  How many shoes do you need?  How many belts?
  • Make a plan to get rid of all consumer debt – and stay accountable to it
  • Borrow instead of buy when possible.
  • Beware gadgets: Don’t be swayed to purchase the latest version or to listen to the “gotta-have” frenzy of the marketing.
  • Aim to have dinner at home as many nights as possible.
  • Make Sabbath a priority.
  • Set boundaries for how many evening activities per week your family can maintain.
  • If you haven’t used it in more than a year…. Say goodbye!
  • Have a day a week where you do not purchase anything.
  • Don’t over-schedule your day. Do you have time to BE, to pray, to take a breath?
  • Take walks.
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Have other suggestions or want to share a resource?  Let’s continue this discussion online!  Facebook – CvilleCCC

2016-11-24T01:34:14+00:00
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