Greed Is Never Good
When Gordon Gecko, the main antagonist in the 1987 film Wall Street, declared in no uncertain terms that “Greed is good!” people flocked to the theaters. And cheered. Please don’t base your belief system on a movie line that might have been memorable and entertaining but dead wrong. Greed is like a cancer that when left untreated can destroy individuals, families, businesses, governments, and economies.
Break the Grip of Greed
Breaking the stranglehold of greed starts with releasing the thing that has the power to consume you. Enter Rule 3. Giving away some of your money quiets your desires and knocks the life out of greed. Here are the steps to break the grip of greed.
How Much to Give
How much you give is up to you, so don’t look to me or others to tell you. Only you can make that determination. Your attitude is what will slay your enemy, greed. It’s not how much you give, it’s why you give. It’s not the quantity of the gift, but rather the quality of the giver that makes a difference. Knowing you the way I do—and I only make such an assumption because I know myself so well—your first thoughts when you read the preceding paragraph were “Great, then I’ll give a dollar or two and call it good” or “I’ll just wait until something or someone needy walks up and hits me in the head, then I’ll give” or even “I’ll give as soon as all my bills are paid and I get my money straightened out. But until then, I need every penny I can get my hands on.” No, no, and no. If you see your attitude in any of the foregoing, you don’t understand Rule 3. You’ve missed the power of giving and a grateful heart
Where to Give?
What are you passionate about? What stirs your heart? It’s quite possible you know already where you will concentrate your giving. Perhaps you are part of a church. If you are being spiritually fed, it makes sense that you would want to help meet the financial needs right there in your church.
Start looking around in your own community. I’m quite certain that you won’t have to look far to see genuine need that will engage you emotionally. You’ll know because you’ll feel a tug on your heartstrings. Once identified, get excited about how your giving will meet that need.
Power in Giving
More than a few people have asked me, “How on earth did you repay more than $100,000 in unsecured consumer debt and keep your life going at the same time?” To tell you the truth, I am not sure how we did that, exactly. I wasn’t taking notes because I never dreamed I would ever tell anyone what we were going through. It was embarrassing. But as I look back from where I am now, I can recall the many opportunities God provided for us to earn the money to repay the debt. And I have to admit that it is amazing.
What I do know is that day when I got up from the floor and gave my life over to God’s care, I knew Scripture was pretty clear on this matter of giving. And I knew that I’d blown it big-time.
We accepted every opportunity, earned all we could, and just kept going for 13 long years until we reached the goal. I cannot say that my battles with greed are over. That enemy has a way of lifting its ugly head when I least expect it. I know that I could so easily go right back to where I was if it were not for a mind-set of generous giving, a habit that changed the equation of my life. Giving has freed me from the stranglehold of materialism. I have lived in the darkness of greed and debt. And I’ve lived on the receiving end of God’s promise to reward trustworthiness. I highly recommend the latter.