Summary: This is a small group topic about being generous and looks at some of the reasons people aren't generous.
ICE BREAKER Question:
What kind of tip do you usually leave when you eat at a restaurant?
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” [2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV ]
In Matthew 10:8, Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give.” Or, as the Message Bible puts it: “You have been treated generously, so live generously.”
Generosity is rooted in the belief that God will provide. God doesn’t owe us a thing, but as sincere followers of Jesus Christ, we are confident that the Lord will provide for our needs. Selfishness, on the other hand, is rooted in the belief that there is not enough, so I have to conserve.
One of the biggest hindrances to generosity is fear. A minister once asked a few men in his congregation for a small donation to help a needy family. One man said, “I’ll help that needy family when I’m working 40 hours a week again.” He never considered that he was far better off financially than they. Fear that he couldn’t pay his bills stopped him from being generous.
God’s Kingdom doesn’t operate on the same principles as the world. In the godless world system, generosity is determined by how much a person has. But, in God’s Kingdom, faith determines how generous a person can be. One of the best reasons to give is to remind people of God’s generosity. We are God’s Ambassadors [2 Corinthians 5:20] and when we go out to eat, it doesn’t take long for a waitress to figure out that we are churchgoers. A generous tip reflects well on the LORD. It’s a sign that God has been generous to us, and He can bless her as well.
Generosity isn’t only about money. It’s also about our time, our possessions, and even our forgiveness. (Our generous forgiveness of those who fail us should be a reflection of God’s generous forgiveness of our own sins.)
Generosity is the key to a blessed life. Without generosity, you cannot become spiritually mature. There is a fundamental connection between our spiritual life and our attitude toward money and possessions! Our attitude either reveals gratitude and trust or it reveals our lack of trust. Jesus made it very clear that where our treasure is, there our heart is also! If He doesn’t have our possessions then He doesn’t have our heart!
Generosity goes against our very nature! Have you ever seen the show called the hoarders? We can’t imagine living in such clutter. But the truth is that we are all hoarders by nature. Each of us was born selfish and must be born-again generous! This is a tough battle because we once were slaves to sin and slaves aren’t very generous. Yet, even though Jesus freed us in baptism, some of us are unable to be generous because we still are slaves to things. We have money to eat out and go shopping but we can’t give a few dollars to a missionary.
Generosity is not solely about helping the needy or giving to good causes. It’s about reorienting the human heart in the direction of Christ so that we become transmitters of the same love and care that Christ demonstrated while He was on earth. Freely you have received, freely give!
See below for the Small Group Topic Discussion Questions.
1. What causes a person to be selfish? Are selfish parents the MAIN cause of someone's selfishness?
2. According to Luke 6:38, the way to receive is to give (first GIVE, then get). Why do you suppose God doesn’t give to us first, so we have plenty to give (first GET, then give)?
3. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” [Acts 20:35] What has convinced you that this is true?
4. The topic spoke about being “slaves” to things. What signs indicate that a person is a slave to something—like an addict is to heroin?
5. What, if anything, can a person do in order to become more generous?