Further Thought: “The spirit of liberality is the spirit of Heaven. The spirit of selfishness is the spirit of Satan. Christ’s self-sacrificing love is revealed upon the cross. He gave all that he had, and then gave himself, that man might be saved. The cross of Christ appeals to the benevolence of every follower of the blessed Saviour. The principle illustrated there is to give, give.
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This carried out in actual benevolence and good works is the true fruit of the Christian life. The principle of worldlings is to get, get, and thus they expect to secure happiness; but carried out in all its bearings, the fruit is misery and death.” – Ellen G. White, in Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, Oct. 17, 1882.
- What is it about selfishness that makes it so contrary to the spirit of Christ? What are conscious things that we can do to help protect ourselves from what is such a natural attitude for a fallen human being?
- “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7, NKJV). The Greek word translated as “cheerful” appears only once in the New Testament and is the word from which we get the English “hilarious”. What should that tell us about our attitude in giving?
- Make a list of all that you have been given in Christ. Pray about what you write down. What should this list teach us about why we should give in response to what we have been given? At the same time, what does your list teach you about how even our best gifts, given for the best motives, can seem so paltry in the face of what we have received?
- Why is selfishness a guaranteed way to make yourself miserable?
- Think about someone in your own church family right now who is in some kind of need. What could you do, even right now, that could reach out and help minister to this person or persons? What can you do, even if it takes a painful sacrifice on your part?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons