Giving Lessons

By Steve Pierce | 2 July 2010 | Comments (1)

Stewardship’s new teaching material – ‘Seasons of Giving’ – helps get to grips with one of the subjects we often struggle to talk about. Steve Pierce, Stewardship Head of Content, reports.

The problem with biblical teaching on money is that there is so much biblical teaching on money! Are we to bring our first fruits and rejoice in all the good things (Deuteronomy 26:11) or should we sell our possessions and give to the poor (Luke 12:33)?

The shared insight of these verses is generosity: giving that honours the Giver and serves the poor. The foolishness of the rich farmer in Jesus’ well known parable (Luke 12:13-21) is that both the vertical and the horizontal obligations of wealth are absent.

“True giving is an act of self-liberation. It becomes one of the major achievements of our life.”

Seasons of giving week 2:Study questions on the rich fool

 

1.    What prompted Jesus to tell the parable of the rich fool? Can you think of ways in which money can get in the way of relationships and why this might happen?

2.    The wealthy man tears down perfectly good barns in order to build bigger ones. How and why do we do this with our possessions?

3.    Count up how many times the farmer uses the words ‘I’ and ‘my’. What does it suggest about his attitude to his wealth and possessions and his relationship with God?

4.    We can’t divorce our thinking about giving from the rest of our money. What do you think the parable of the rich fool teaches us about:

i)    Planning for the future?
ii)   Enjoying good things in life?
iii)  The rights and wrongs of making money?

5.    How might the local community suffer from the actions of the rich fool? (Proverbs 11:26 might suggest a clue.) In what ways can wealth either blind us or open our eyes to our obligations to people living in poverty?

seasons of giving

The new Stewardship Bible study resource, Seasons Of Giving, is written in the belief that generous giving is the key that unlocks so much of our relationship with money. Blending Bible study with illustrations of a remarkable modern parable of generosity ‘Seasons’ helps us explore how giving can transform our actions and attitudes around money:

• Giving helps set us free from the love of money
• Giving recognises God’s ownership of all we have
• Giving is the hallmark of authentic discipleship
• Giving is part of our stewardship responsibility before God

to test our love

‘True giving is an act of self-liberation. It becomes one of the major achievements of our life.’ So says Henry Drucker and he is right. Giving is a key part of our celebration of all God has entrusted to us, building resistance to selfish materialism. Giving gently tests the authenticity of our love (2 Corinthians 8:8). It shapes our character before God and the world.

Seasons Of Giving is a fresh and creative fourweek bible study which will get small groups in the church talking and thinking about their giving and their discipleship around money. The resource is available as a free download at www.stewardship.org.uk/money. Why not use it as a study session in your church before the summer break?

 

Download Seasons of Giving free here.

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Steve Pierce
Posted by Steve Pierce

Steve Pierce was born, raised, educated, ordained and employed in Liverpool and is the Director of Learning and Stewardship for the diocese of Liverpool. He supports, of course, Everton.

comments:

William Edwards

September 1, 2010 12:34 PM
The overall principle in giving, from my reading of the scriptures, is that of Stewardship. To be a good steward of everything we have been given, is the measure by which we shall be measured. (To whom much is given, much shall be required). Stewardship also means responsibility. It is not good stewardship to sell everything I have and give to the poor, if it means my wife and children will be on the streeet. The bible goes even further in 1 Tim 5:8, saying that if one does not provide for his own, he is worse than an infidel. So then, the scriptures are clear:
1) Recognise that all we have comes from God, not just 10% of it.
2) We will be held accountable for how all of it is used
3) Remember our responsibilities to our immediate families before all else.
4) In light of the above, excerise discernment.

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