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The Gravity of Greed

An abundance of greed will cripple a generous heart.

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Do you remember watching your very first NASA rocket launch? I remember as a boy sitting on the edge of the family room sofa and listening to the announcer say, "Five. Four. Three. Two. One." And then there was a rumble. There was this eruption at the base of the rocket, and it began to shake, and very slowly, almost imperceptibly, it lifted from the launch pad. Several minutes later it was soaring through space. And then something happened that I didn't expect, something that startled me: the bottom third of the rocket dropped off. Remember when you saw that for the first time and thought to yourself, Oh my goodness, the rocket broke. The rocket broke! Of course it didn't break. That was just the booster that was dropping away. The booster is necessary at the beginning of the launch, but once the rocket is in flight it's no longer needed. When the rocket sits on the launch pad, it's pulled by the earth's gravitational force, and it takes the booster to get it away from the gravity and into space where it can fly freely.

Last week we opened this series on generosity by talking about generosity's origin. It comes from God. Generosity is like a river, and the headwaters of the river are God, and he flows blessings and resources into our lives. He wants us to channel some of those resources and blessings downstream to other people. I said, "Be a river. Don't be a Dead Sea that has no outlet."

Today, instead of looking at generosity as a river, I want you to see it as a rocket. It's being held back by the world's G-force. Now in this case, G doesn't stand for gravity; G stands for greed, because anybody who sets their heart on becoming a generous person is going to have to escape the worldly pull of greed. Greed is ...

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Jim Nicodem is founder and pastor of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, Illinois.

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