GOD DOESN’T BLESS SCROOGES
During this Stewardship Emphasis time we are talking about generosity. God’s people ought to be generous people. Stingy and greedy people never know God’s richest blessings.
Generosity is not the amount you give; it’s your attitude. God knows your heart and your attitude as you give. He desires that we give with a Godly and generous attitude.
The truth of this lesson is that God doesn’t bless selfish people. When we withhold what God intends us to give, it will prevent us from experiencing the prosperity that He intends for us to have.
Those that make the choice to be stingy with what God has given them will find themselves in need. We must realize how selfish people become that way and determine in our own lives that we will be generous givers.
When we use the word “Scrooge” most of us automatically thing of the story “The Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. This story is known around the world.
The central figure, Ebenezar Scrooge, is a well-to-do businessman who makes life miserable for everyone, including himself. This selfish and miserly character is hated at first because he is seen as a selfish and greedy old man.
Everyone knows him and they know that he is rich, but he is also the tightest skinflint in town. He hoards up his personal fortune to the point that he won’t even put coal in the fireplace and he refuses to pay his employee a decent wage.
Every time he is asked to do something decent, he replies with, “Bah humbug.”
Because he is a stingy and greedy person, he is miserable and others hate him. He is the example of the person described in I Timothy 6:
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
His love of money was the root of all sorts of evil in his life and eventually led him into a destructive cycle of greed and selfishness. His thoughts were only about “I, Me, Mine, and Myself.” Because he didn’t care about anyone else, it almost cost him his own life.
Let’s look at what the Bible says about scrooges:
1 – THE SPIRITUAL SCROOGE
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
The man that Jesus introduces us to in these verses might as well have been names, Ebenezer Scrooge.
God has blessed him with a huge harvest that was so great his barns could not hold it. He never thought one time about being a blessing to someone less fortunate, all he thought of was himself. He was so greedy that he tore down his existing barns and built bigger ones.
Just as he thought he could sit back and take it easy and live in the luxury he graved, he discovered a sad truth. God called him a fool, he was more than wrong; he was dead wrong!
This scrooge would quickly die and lose all that he had hoarded up for himself. God put this in the Bible to teach us that this is the fate of all who live like this man lived.
This is more than just a story; it is a warning to all Christians. We are to be careful and guard our lives against greed and always remember that our life does not consist of the things we might possess.
We live is a world where those that seek to gain a massive amount of wealth are heroes and those that are generous givers are seen as fools. As man always does, we think opposite of the way God wants us to think.
God blesses us so we can bless others. God’s true blessings come as a result of generosity, not selfishness.
2 – HOW SCROOGES BECOME SCROOGES
Ebenezer Scrooge and most other scrooges become that way because they define success as having lots of money and power. Ebenezer lost the love of his life and then actively pursued wealth, hoping it would fill the void in his life.
The same is true for the others, they lose or have never had God as the love of their lives, and so they substitute a love of money to try to fill that void. This deadly decision wi8ll soon wither the spirit and transform an otherwise good person into a miserable scrooge.
Let’s look at some other ways people turn into scrooges:
Many people have never had generosity demonstrated to them by those that influenced them the most. All they have even witnessed was a demonstration of getting all you can for yourself and never giving or being a blessing to anyone else.
They have never been influenced by those that scattered and watered and had their lives enriched because of it:
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.
The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
When a person is raised in an environment of withholding, clinging to, and hoarding material possessions, that person will not likely be a generous person.
What they learn is that they are to get what they can before someone else gets it first. After they get all they can, they hold on to is with all they have.
That does not mean they cannot change, but if they do, God will have to change them.
Those that grow up with wealth must be especially sensitive to God’s leadership when it comes to generosity. Wealth and worldly possessions will affect their attitude toward giving.
Poverty can have many negative effects on people. It can beat them down, discourage their initiative, and steal their dreams. It can often mold a person’s attitude about money into a distasteful creed: Hang on to what little you have at any cost!
Giving becomes out of the question and grabbing all you can becomes a way of life.
These people become takers all of their life. Some of those people have come through this Church. They always have their hand out and they never consider open that same hand to anyone else.
I can’t say that this is the case every time, but many of these people are driven by a fear of never having enough, they want to hoard all they can get, just in case.
The poverty mentality will make people stingy, even if they only have a little. The “Scattering and watering” mentality are foreign concepts to them.
Just as wealth, poverty can affect the attitude toward giving and generosity.
THEY GIVE IN TO THE SELFISHNESS AND GREED OF THE FLESH
Many scrooges have simply given in to their sinful nature. They let their guard down and the Devil and the flesh took over. Those that choose to follow the flesh instead of the Spirit will become self-centered and greedy.
A review of Galatians five will reveal the difference in the fruits of the flesh and the fruits of the Spirit. He must resist the temptation of the flesh to become selfish.
THEY FOCUS ON LOVING MONEY MORE THAN LOVING GOD
The Bible says that it is the love of Money, not money itself, that of the root of evil. Money can quickly become a god and it is always a greedy god.
That is why Jesus said that we cannot worship money and God:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
We will either master our money or it will master us. We must be honest with ourselves and ask, “Do we love God and other people more than we do money?”
3 – HOW SELFISH SCROOGES BECOME GENEROUS
We remember that Ebenezer Scrooge had his greedy and selfish spirit scared out of him by some frightening dreams. As a result, he opened his heart and his pocket book and began to be a blessing.
But God usually does not deal with us that way; He does not scare us into submission. It is our personal responsibility to respond to God’s Word and the Holy Spirit and be led into a generous attitude and lifestyle.
Stingy and greedy people can be changed when they discover and become obedient to walking by faith in God’s principles and promises. God’s Word is clear, “The generous person will be prosperous.”
God gave us the Holy Spirit to lead us in the way we need to live.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
It is God’s plan that we be influenced by the Holy Ghost, not be scared by an imaginary ghost.
No matter what our background or training, or lack thereof, may be, we can learn to be generous givers. We can seek out the truth of God’s Word, ask for the help of the Spirit, and simply believe what God says.
There is no way to be the generous person that God wants us to be unless we know what the Word of God says. Instead of listening to and following the world, we need to take our marching orders from God.
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
4 – PERSONAL QUESTIONS
Are we selfish scrooges or the generous Christians God wants us to be?
Are we ruled by a scattering or withholding principle?
What do others say about our generosity?
Arte we praised for our generosity or cursed for our greedy heart?
He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.
Withholding or giving – the choice is up to us.
Cursing or blessing – the choice is ours.
The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
4/27/05 WED. PM