Greed or Giving

Do you see yourself as a giver or a taker? Most believers would answer "giver" to this question, but that may be based on intent rather than works. This particular topic is one of the most controversial subjects in Scripture even though Jesus expects us to be givers without any conditions attached to the gift. Agape Love is unconditional by nature thus our giving should be consistent with this highest form of Love.

In 2 Corinthians chapter 9, Paul wrote:

6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.  NKJV

One who is motivated by Love will be a cheerful giver because Love is the primary motivator in his heart and FATHER honors the intent of the heart. Those who try to "work the system" and give to get will find that FATHER will not be manipulated by the underlying greed found in that person’s heart. We are given a promise that "he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully" and if we truly trust and have faith in FATHER’S Word then we will not be reluctant to give when FATHER instructs us to do so.

Cheerful giving requires faith in FATHER’S ability to interact with the physical realm. Even though it would seem obvious that FATHER can and will intervene in the physical, many people have difficulty in understanding that the Spiritual realm is higher than the physical realm and what happens in the higher realm evokes a response in the lower realm. FATHER moves upon men and women to carry out HIS plan whether they realize it or not. HE will open their eyes to a situation which will cause them to respond by taking some action ultimately resulting in a blessing to HIS cheerful giver.

Cheerful giving correlates to the law of seedtime and harvest. To reap a larger harvest, one must plant the appropriate seed. When a husband and wife give, they should be in one accord to qualify as cheerful givers. Giving has at its foundation the need to be in unity. We should be in unity with FATHER and our spouse to be most effective. If there is division in the family concerning giving, then it must be dealt with to determine who or what is causing the problem. We should ask FATHER to expose the problem so that we can clear the blockage before the gift is sent. We must not assume anything but let HIS SPIRIT guide us accordingly. Our timing may be off, or there may be some spiritual issue to be dealt with before we take action. We must also consider that we may not be the ones who are to give to a particular need. This is why it is so important to be connected with FATHER when giving. There are plenty of bona fide needs all around us, but those needs must be met in accordance with FATHER’S plan and purpose to be effective in our giving.

The love of money is the root of all evil and the term "love of money" can be replaced by the word "greed" thus greed is the root of all evil. Many of those who are rich by the world’s standard have acquired their wealth through greed and exploitation of the poor. They are masters when it comes to rationalizing why their actions associated with the accumulation of wealth is not associated with greed. FATHER has no problem with wealth accumulation but does have a problem with hoarding the wealth once accumulated. Many who are wealthy like to keep it to maintain their status within the community. They tend to believe their wealth is a result of being "special" and separated from the masses. In 1 Timothy chapter 6 we get a different view concerning those who are wealthy:

17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. NKJV

FATHER is warning the wealthy not to trust in their riches, and if we should heed any warning, this is the ONE in which we should pay close attention. Everyone else has an opinion about the future, but FATHER knows what lies ahead.

What is the point of accumulating wealth in this age? We are told those who do should do good and be ready to give and share. Those who are anointed to acquire wealth must realize that every person in the Kingdom is important to FATHER and we must not let others suffer as we are enjoying the fruitfulness of our particular calling. After the believers were baptized in the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 4 we see a notable change of heart:

32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. 33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. 34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. NKJV

Suddenly their possessions were no longer a priority in their lives for they were now of one heart and one soul. They now had revelation of the temporary value of worldly goods and understood the need to minister to those who lacked. As the Kingdom draws near on earth, I expect to see a similar change of heart among believers and as a result, the personal storage industry will begin to shrink. Hoarding will become a thing of the past. If we are no longer have a need for some item, then we will look for someone who now has a need rather than store the item based on some expected need in the future.

A person’s willingness to give is often determined by their level of faith and trust in FATHER’S willingness and ability to bless them. Throughout Scripture FATHER assures us that HE will supply all our need to according to HIS riches in glory by Christ Jesus yet people often prefer to trust the world’s methods of supply rather than FATHER even though HE uses the current system to move supply in our direction. It really gets down to who you trust to supply your need. The world wants us to exercise faith in their system which is based on scarcity and FATHER wants us to exercise faith in HIS Way which is based on abundance and sufficiency. To establish a pattern of giving, we should focus on increasing our faith and trust in FATHER, and for that to be totally fulfilled, we must get the revelation of Agape Love, HIS primary characteristic.

Paul warned Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 6:

5 … men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of (financial) gain. From such withdraw yourself.

6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Paul urges us to withdraw from those who are destitute of the truth for light cannot fellowship with darkness. Men and women accumulate wealth and possessions in order to assure their remaining days on earth are to be lived in comfort. Some focus on providing an inheritance to their sons and daughters yet if they are also destitute of the truth, the wealth will be of no lasting value and will not guarantee future success. Often, the inheritance is squandered and the inheritors are worse off than before they received the proceeds.

The ego of the wealthy demands attention and thoughts of grandeur abound. They must have the best seats when being entertained and they thrive on the attention their wealth brings to them, often at the expense of those in need. They demand respect based on the size of their bank account rather than the fruitfulness of their life or lack thereof. Their path is headed toward destruction but they are unable to see what lies ahead because of their blindness.

When people become more focused on greediness because they no longer trust FATHER for HIS provision, they end up with regretting the path they have chosen. The world’s monetary system is designed to extract wealth from the individual for the benefit of the institution controlling the system thus the wealth is temporary by its very nature. On the other hand, FATHER’S wealth is enduring and designed to be a blessing because it is not corrupted by man’s manipulative efforts. FATHER’S wealth transcends our physical existence, unlike the world’s temporary wealth. When we become cheerful givers, we break the bondage which arises from greed.

How willing are you to forgive debt? Greed demands payment of every last cent whereas those with a giving heart are willing to forgive the debt when it cannot be repaid. The same question must be asked concerning interest on debt. The greedy demand the debtor pay interest on the money borrowed but the cheerful giver does not further burden the borrower with interest payments. If you really trust FATHER to be your provider then you know that HE will bless your finances as you bless others in theirs.

FATHER gave Moses ten commandments and included among those commandments is "Thou shall not covet". The word "covet" means to delight greatly in something or someone because of their perceived preciousness. When we move our focus and priority away from FATHER and redirect our attention toward a person or thing, then we may become guilty of coveting. Once we covet someone or something, idol worship may not be far behind. This is why we must keep the ego in check as we mature as Sons and Daughters of Our Heavenly Father. Becoming a cheerful giver is a form of resisting the ego.

Pursuing and embracing Agape Love solves many of the problems believers face today for it is the standard by which all actions can be compared. There are many alternative paths one can take which will ultimately lead to death and destruction, but FATHER gave us the clear path to take in order to become fully mature. Only through HIS Son can the path be found and only through Jesus’ example are we to overcome greed and truly be known as a cheerful giver. The means and the method have not been hidden from us, and the only hindrance to success is whatever we are unwilling to deal with once we have been given the Word. It is our choice whether we are to be known as givers or takers and doing nothing ultimately leads to hoarding, another subtle form of greed. Our actions will confirm our stated choice.

Jesus provided us with a parable referring to hoarding, and it is found in Luke chapter 12:

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.”

There is no difference between one who hoards and one who is known as a "taker." Both people are more concerned about self-preservation than others in need. I acknowledge there is a need to save and store up as we are led by The Holy Spirit. Joseph is an excellent example when he was given the directive to store grain for seven years in specific preparation for the coming famine. This is why it is important to hear FATHER’S voice when it comes to dealing with your resources. We must be open when FATHER says to give and trust HIM in meeting our future needs. HE knows when we will pass from this life to the next so why not let HIM guide us in our finances and resources?

Since we have been told that greed is the root of all evil, let us be willing to place our doctrines on the altar concerning this subject. Jesus was willing to give all for us so are we willing to give out of our abundance to others? Let it not be out of duty or coercion that we give but let us become cheerful givers so that the enemy will not gain a stronghold in our life and ministry.

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