DON'T BE A SCROOGE!
What would you think of
a Texas billionaire who evicts his own mother from her two-room apartment in one of his many apartment buildings because she was three weeks late on her three-hundred dollar rent payment?
a preschooler who takes twelve cupcakes to his preschool classroom on his birthday and insists on eating every one himself?
the owner of the largest cattle ranch in Oklahoma, who is found guilty of stealing cows from an adjoining ranch?
the girl who has sung a solo in the church Christmas program for the last three years and throws a temper tantrum because someone else was asked to sing the solo this year?
the kid who has been playing the Savage Conquest video game for three and a half hours-nonstop and won't give anyone else a chance to play?
If you could think of one word that characterizes each of those people, would it be cool? pleasant? likable? admirable?
How about greedy? Or stingy?
That's it, isn't it? The people mentioned above aren't very pleasant, likable, or admirable at all, are they? Why? Because they're greedy or stingy.
Greed can be pretty unattractive and irritating. It's also wrong. Perhaps the main reason why most people dislike or disapprove of the behavior mentioned above is because it's wrong. What would be the right behavior? Generosity! "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35, NIV).
Greed or miserliness is wrong; generosity is right. Most people seem to know that instinctively. That's why Scrooge is such a despicable character at the beginning of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. That's why Michael Douglass' character in the movie Wall Street was so outrageous. That's why the Grinch is such "a mean one" in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Because greed is not only unattractive, it's wrong.
REFLECT: Do you think greed is OK for some people, or is it wrong for everyone? Is generosity right for everyone? Do you think you need to be more generous?
ACT: Rent one of the following movies (with your parents' permission) and watch it with your family. As you're watching it, think about how the movie depicts the vice (wrong choice) of greed and the virtue (right choice) of generosity: A Christmas Carol (starring George C. Scott), A Simple Twist of Fate (starring Steve Martin), Greedy (with Michael J. Fox), or The Brothers Karamazov.
PRAY: "Lord, you are so generous, offering your love and your salvation to the whole world including me! Give me the desire to be generous, too."