God's Antidote to Greed
By: Jill Briscoe
One of the things we discover as we know Christ and increasingly experience His life in us is a growing spirit of generosity: a willingness to share. We all need to realize that generosity is God’s antidote to greed.
If we suspect we are addicted to money or to the possession of what we can buy, we need to develop the habit of regularly giving some of those riches away. Ask yourself if you have developed a real attachment to some possession or other. Look around to see if someone needs that particular thing more than you do. Pray about it. If you are honest, you may realize that the thing has you in its power. Give it away speedily!
Beyond giving of our material possessions, God calls upon us to give our selves away–our time, energy, and passion. One way to develop a generosity of spirit is to get involved with missions. Commit to a short-term mission project, contribute to a relief agency, or get involved in a refugee resettlement program in your own city. Also, you could take a family vacation that involves service rather than just pleasure. You and your children would be the richer for it.
We tried to give our growing children exposure to others’ needs in their own backyards in the good old USA. When David, our eldest, was fifteen, he went on a six-week assignment with about a dozen of his peers and their youth leader to New Orleans. There they lived in a school dormitory and were servants to a mission working deep in the French Quarter. It was hard work and quite a culture shock for those kids as they went along on visitations with the staff of the mission, were exposed to life in run-down tenements, and ran children’s clubs for the street kids. The young people learned what the other half of the world looks like and lives like, and the experience was life changing. They were not paid for their work; in fact, it cost them money to go! But they came back with spiritual gold in their spiritual pockets, and that is what mattered.
If we spend a lot of time building up real wealth–spiritual riches–instead of storing up things for ourselves, chances are that we will become “rich toward God” (Lk. 12:21).
Jill Briscoe is the Founder and Executive Editor of Just Between Us magazine.