Our natural tendency is to believe that it is always better to receive than it is to give, and so we typically feel guilty when addressed about generosity. But in 2 Corinthians 8, scripture gives us an equation for generosity that is only possible through the grace of Christ Jesus: Great Trial + Tremendous Poverty = Joyful Generosity. Guilt leads to temporary giving. Gratefulness leads to a lifestyle of generosity.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR SHEPHERD GROUPS
- If Pastor Mike were to give an abbreviated version of last weekend's message, what two points would you have him include, no matter what?
- Read and discuss 2 Corinthians 8:1-12. What do these verses tell you about the nature of man? What do these verses tell you about Jesus?
- What practical application do these verses have for our church? What are the implications for you personally?
- Why is guilt so often associated with money? Why is guilt a poor motivator toward generosity?
- How is Jesus the ultimate motivator toward generosity?
- A couple weeks ago, the discussion questions included this question regarding "The Cheerio Principle": "What 'Cheerios' in your life do you have trouble letting go of?" Do you feel you've grown in that area over the last few weeks? Why or why not?
- How do you feel that you are doing in the area of Christ-centered, gospel-proclaiming generosity? What adjustments could you make in your life in order to grow in joyful generosity? Spend some time in prayer for these as a small group.