The Rich Fool

Study Guide

Our goal is to be rich before God—worshiping him and deepening our relationship with him. The way we spend our money and steward our possessions should be an overflow of a heart tethered to our Creator who has given us everything we manage. The best way we can guard against a greedy heart is to release control and be generous.
  1. Read 1 Timothy 6:9-10. What words are associated with money? How does this apply to your own experience with money?

  2. Greed is an issue in our worship; we expect possessions to do what we should trust and turn to God to do. How might you be worshiping something other than God by seeking comfort, happiness, fulfillment, etc. from it? Based on what you depend on for those things, what are you actually worshiping?

  3. Read Colossians 3:5 and Ephesians 5:5, and pay close attention to the comparable sins surrounding greed in the Bible. How do you think our culture has taught us to put greed in a separate category from other sins? What are some greedy motives that are disguised by cultural sayings like “climbing the corporate ladder”? How can you begin to identify where emotions rather than wisdom drive your financial decisions?

  4. How have you seen greed, or your perspective on possessions, change over time? Has your pleasure or satisfaction level gotten bigger or smaller as you recognize everything you have is from God? Does it take more to satisfy you or less? Where can you be generous to acknowledge that everything you have been given by God is not for you?

  5. There are two indicators of a greedy heart: Like the rich fool from the parable, you have an individual focus and a self-indulgent goal. How does this compare to your view of the possessions and resources you manage? What step can you take to increase your understanding of money from a biblical perspective to reorient your view?

For further application, click here to download 10 questions to help diagnose your money motivation from The Money Challenge by Art Rainer.

Key Points
  • God gives and grants wealth to people to bless others.

  • Greed is an unhealthy desire to gain more possessions or status with the objective of owning, having, and getting.

  • The threat of losing possessions or status produces fear which can lead to greed.

  • The desire for more is the ultimate renewable resource.

  • Our biggest problem is a worship problem, and a major contributor that that problem is greed.

  • Like the rich fool, you can have a strategically sound plan but totally morally mismanage the situation.

  • A person is a fool to store up earthly wealth and not have a rich relationship with God.

  • God’s economy tells us that our debt is so great that he has to send Jesus to pay it—not that I can earn it in some way on earth and pay it at the door of Heaven.

  • Money is a way to grow in that rich relationship with God as we use money to serve and help grow the kingdom.

  • Wealth toward self (greed) = poverty before God.

  • We need accountability in our lives to think biblically, live appropriately, save wisely, and give generously.

  • Understand that we make financial decisions based on emotion. We need to ask ourselves, “How much of my self-worth is tied to what I have?”

Scripture References

Scripture: Luke 12:13-21, Colossians 3:5

Topics: Acceptable Sins, Courageously Generous, Finances, Generosity, Greed, Idolatry, Money, Stewardship, Worship