Summary: This is a sermon that deals with destructive behavior of Greed in the Christian life.
How to Deal with Stinginess
This morning I want to talk with you about a destructive behavior that is not mentioned much in churches. Over the past few weeks we have been talking about destructive behavior that affects the Christian. We have not been talking about lying, stealing, or cheating. What we have talked about is complacency or indifference, negativity, and living in a world of regret. What I do want to talk about is being stingy.
Stinginess is human nature – actually it is human fallen nature. Stinginess is an expression of selfishness. It is an expression of this is mine and you can not have it. It is a product of being narrow minded.
Who wants to be a Millionaire?
One of the most poplar shows in America in 1999 was “Who wants to be a Millionaire.” The first person to win a million dollars in America was a man by the name of John Carpenter. (Not the movie producer.) John worked for the IRS. Of the million dollars he was able to keep $400 thousands. The IRS took the rest.
The question shouldn’t be who wants to be a millionaire – it should be – “How bad do you want to be a millionaire.” A recent survey was taken in America and people were asked what would you do for two million dollars? 2/3 of the people surveyed said they would do at least one of these things. What were they?
Abandon their entire family – 25%
Abandon their church – 25%
Become a prostitute for a week – 23%
Give up American citizenship – 16%
Leave their spouse – 16%
Withhold testimony in a murder trial – 10%
Kill a stranger – 7%
Have a sex change operation – 4%
Put their children up for adoption – 3%
Stinginess – another name for it is Greed.
Donald Trump has said: “Greed is all right; by the way…I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself. The point is that you can’t be too greedy.”
This morning let me read a parable from our Lord.
16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: "The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ’What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ’I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry." ’ 20 But God said to him, ’Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ 21 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." Luke 12:16-21 (NKJV)
This parable is not talking about saving for retirement. It’s talking about self-centered accumulation of goods.
Rockefeller was asked how much money was enough – his response – “More then I have.”
What is at the center of your life? What do you live for? Listen to what Jesus has said.
"You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both.”
Matthew 6:24 (MSG)