Are you constantly searching for more? Maybe you are pursuing the next deal, a new truck, a bigger boat, a larger house, a better company, greater achievement, the best nonprofit ministry, or even more to merely survive. Paul cautioned against a self-centered mindset that always wants more.
Fully surrendered leaders embrace generosity over greed. They give of their time, talent, and treasure to elevate those around them. Paul labored diligently to offer the good news of Christ at no cost to his audience: “Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you” (1 Thessalonians 2:9 TNIV). The Holy Spirit prompted Paul to work in the marketplace as a tentmaker, or leather worker, a skill he had learned in rabbinical training in order to never be a financial burden to those he would disciple (Acts 18:3). In doing so, the church-planter set himself apart from the idolatry of his day: “Nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed” (1 Thessalonians 2:5).
Satan is greedy (1 Peter 5:8). In our sinful nature, left unchecked, greed can captivate our minds. Jesus preached: “‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions’” (Luke 12:15). No amount of wealth and success will ever be enough to satisfy our souls. Only God will meet the longing for significance in each one of us.
Greed destroys our relationships. Solomon taught that greed robs us of life (Proverbs 1:19) and stirs up conflict and dissension, but generosity comes from trusting in the Lord, rather than ourselves (Proverbs 28:25). God warned of believers who expressed devotion with their words, but harbored greed for unjust gain in their hearts (Ezekiel 33:31). Our Heavenly Father sees our true motives. When we trust in Christ, He shapes us into the giving leader He desires, restoring our hearts from greed to generosity.
Generosity flows from the heart of God (1 Chronicles 29:14; Matthew 20:15) and spawns harmony in our relationships: “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work, we must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). When we freely give of our time, talent, and treasure, we honor our Creator who will multiply His generosity in and through us (1 Peter 4:10). The Talmud records: “He that gives should never remember, he that receives should never forget.”
Pray that God will give you His generous heart. Ask those you lead how you can serve them. Understand their needs and ideas for best practices. Invite your children to share their visions for their future. Learn what energizes them. Guide them to discover the next best steps in their journeys. Offer to help your spouse with any task that is important to them, regardless of what it costs you. Invest in someone who is seeking God and would benefit from you generously sharing your resources to help them understand full surrender. God will use you to multiply His generosity in the hearts of those you encounter.