This topic is adapted from the Desiring God YouTube channel.
As Christians, the Bible calls us to live differently than the world. This includes simple things like being kind and refraining from gossiping about our neighbors, but it also includes how we handle our money and possessions. John Piper addresses how the world’s view of this topic is quite different from God’s view.
Loving God Involves Our Attitude About Our Possessions
The world is not impressed if Christians are not different in regard to their stuff and in their willingness to give to those in need. If Christians love their stuff the same way the world loves their stuff, we can forget our witness. We must think differently about our possessions.
Don’t Love Your Stuff
1 John 3:17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person?
We should hold our stuff loosely; when you see another believer in need, be ready to respond. This admittedly does create problems because there are so many in this world that are so very poor.
As followers of Christ we need to remember that we are coheirs with Christ. It is just a matter of time before we inherit all things. We do not need to hold tightly to our earthly possessions.
Let’s be free, don’t love stuff. When you meet people in your church with needs, be free to give to them.
Don’t Desire to Be Rich
Be warned by the following two verses.
1 Timothy 6:9 But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.
Matthew 19:24 “I’ll say it again–it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
The desire to be rich will lead to destruction. However, a life of generosity will lead to more of God’s blessing.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- In 2015 there was massive flooding in South Carolina. After her rescue, a woman was asked what she grabbed from her home before leaving. She responded her dog and two Tostitos pizzas from the freezer. What is an important item you would have grabbed and what is an item you would want, but would be too embarrassed to admit?
- Read 1 Timothy 6:9 Do you find yourself longing to be rich? What are some of the specific temptations or traps that you think would cause ruin in a person who is desiring to be rich?
- Read Matthew 19:24. Why would it be difficult for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven?
- What are some of the thoughts that go through your head when you are made aware of the material needs of a fellow Christian?
- Tell of a time when you responded generously and a time when you held back? What are some fears and excuses that keep you holding tight to your belongings?
- Read 1 John 3:17 As a Christian, do you think you are more responsible to give generously if the person in need is a fellow believer?
- How do you think your attitude toward your possessions could effect your witness to those around you?
- Read Romans 8:17 Does the fact that we are coheirs with Christ impact your thoughts about giving of your earthly possessions today?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.