One of the dangers of talking about wisdom is never telling people about what keeps them from being wise. If I never exposed the killers of wisdom, then I am missing out on a crucial part of my job as a pastor. You can call me a screaming prophet if you want, but I am obligated to point out the foolish nature within all of us. So, today we are talking about something every American should be warned against – Greed.
Greed is taking something for yourself that God never intended for you to have. It’s not just money, but it’s all about money. Outside of money, we are greedy with our selfish desires. Think about how valuable someone is when he or she starts dating or get married. Suddenly all of the ladies want the former bachelor now that he’s in a relationship. Why? Because things appear to be more attractive when it doesn’t belong to us. Our culture justifies everything based on what we want. I want it – so it’s mine! So many of us will make foolish decisions simply because we “want” something. This is how marital affairs begin and how money laundering begins. Wisdom is the opposite. Wisdom says, “I want it, but it’s not mine to have so I’ll be content and cultivate what I do have.”
If greed makes you a fool, then generosity makes you wise. If greed brings death to situations, then generosity breathes life. Generosity says that everything I own isn’t mine – I’m just managing the possessions God has granted me. Which means the church I pastor isn’t mine, my cars aren’t mine, my money isn’t mine, my house isn’t mine, etc. Everything I own was given to me by God for God to build the kingdom.
There will never be a moment when you say, “Man, that was stupid”, when you are being generous. And there will never be a moment when you say, “That was a wise thing to do”, when you were being greedy. In what areas of your life is greed keeping you from living a wise life?
“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.” C. S. Lewis