Summary: God wants your heart not your money.
Title: Guardrail From Greed
Text: Matthew 6.24, 6.31-33
CT: God wants your heart not your money.
Zogby recently conducted a large benchmark poll in which respondents identified "greed/materialism" as the number one "most urgent problem in American culture." "Poverty/economic justice" finished in second place. In a 2014 Vanity Fair poll, 78 percent of Americans disagreed with the famous Gordon Gekko quote "Greed is good." Only 19 percent agreed. A recent poll of Economist readers asked "What is the deadliest sin?" and, greed ranked number one.
But, surprisingly, although everyone thinks greed is a terrible problem, most people don't think they are greedy. When the BBC conducted a poll on the seven deadly sins (anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride and sloth), greed was last on the list in answer to two questions: Which sin have you ever committed? and Which sin have you committed in the past month? Plenty of Brits copped to being lazy, proud, envious and angry. But greedy? Seventh out of seven, last on the list.
Tim Keller, argues "even though it is clear that the world is filled with greed and materialism, almost no one thinks it is true of them … Greed hides itself from the victim."
Adapted from Ted Scofield, "Everybody Else's Problem, Pt. 2," Mockingbird blog (7-28-15)
LS: Are you greedy? Most all of us would say no. But when we see how God looks at it we may see it a bit different.
We have been doing a study on guardrails in our Sunday school class. Guardrails are important. They keep us from going too far and being hurt. We are familiar with the guardrails on the roads but what about in our lives. We need guardrails to keep us from going too far in our morality, our finances and any other aspect of our life. A guardrail is a personal boundary that stops us from going too far.
The thing is culture baits us to go as far as we want to and then chastises and punishes us when we go too far. Most of our regrets come from sex or money. When people come to me for help it is usually about sex or money. Today I am going to deal with money. [Screen 2]
Have you ever heard someone say the church just wants your money? They ignore what the Bible has to say about money. The reason the Bible speaks so much about money has nothing to do with money. It has to do with your devotion. God’s chief competition for your heart is not the Devil. You don’t sit at home at night wondering if you should worship Satan or God. I hope not. If you do we need to talk.
No, the real struggle is do I surrender myself to Him. Or do I depend on my own wealth and knowledge to get me through. Lets look at what Jesus has to say about this in the Sermon on the Mount. [Screen 3]
Matthew 6.24, “No one can serve two masters. [Screen 4] Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. [Screen 5] You cannot serve both God and money.
There is a tension here. God wants you and he knows his greatest competition is your money or your stuff. You cannot have two masters. Oh I know you may think you don’t have a master but you do. God is the master you need but stuff gets in the way if we are not careful.
How much would it take for us to have enough money? Remarkably, studies show that most people, regardless of income, answer the question the same way: We need about 10% more to feel comfortable. Ten percent will make a difference, and whether we earn $30,000 per year or $60,000 or $250,000 or a cool million, just 10% more is what we want.
When people are asked the same question over time, Professor Christopher Kaczor reports "when they do get that 10%, which typically happens over the course of a few years, they want just another 10%, and so on, ad infinitum." This reality prompted British psychoanalyst Joan Riviere to make the following observation: "by its very nature [greed] is endless and never assuaged; and by being a form of the impulse to live, it ceases only with death."
Ted Scofield, "Everybody Else's Biggest Problem, Pt. 5: You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat," Mockingbird blog (9-8-15)
There are two guardrails we have here. [Screen 6]
Consuming: everything comes to me to consume. Spender.
Hoarding: What if? Saver. Consume later. If ever.
Both of these are self centered and have you living as if there is no God.
Fueled by GREED.