Start Up

  • At some point, we learned money management principles and habits. Who or what has been the biggest influence on your approach to money management?
  • When did you first learn that there is wealth disparity in the world and that some people have a lot less than others? How did you react, or how did this affect you?

 

Discuss Together

The book of James is both hard-hitting and practical, especially when it comes to money. He has some challenging things to say to those of us who are rich. And let’s be honest: most of us are rich when we compare ourselves with the rest of the world. If we have more than what we need to live day-to-day and survive, the Bible would say we are rich. James wants to make sure we understand how dangerous this can be because if we’re not careful, money can drive us away from God and His purposes for us.

Read James 1:9-11 together.

  • In what ways does James say being rich is a spiritual disadvantage? Have you ever thought about it this way?
  • Do you think it’s possible you are grasping too tightly to your material possessions or finances? How might this be affecting the way you are able to trust God?

Now, read James 2:1-9.

  • Why is favoritism a huge problem and a big sin? How is it at odds with the Gospel message?
  • If you are honest, how “status conscious” are you? Do you find yourself spending a lot of time comparing, complaining, or trying to keep up with others?

Now, read James 5:1-6.

  • Do you think this is written to all “rich” people ever, to rich people back then, or just to rich people guilty of indifference and injustice? Explain your answer.
  • We all face the question, “How much do I spend or save, and how much do I give?” How have you navigated this tension in your life? Do you know someone who navigates this tension particularly well?
  • Jeff said not one of us is called to do everything, but we are called to do something. Have you found your “something”—a need you became aware of that you feel called to be involved with in a specific way? If so, share with the group. If not, do you feel like you need to increase your awareness or involvement in some way?

Take Away

  • How fair and good are your spending habits and the way you compensate people?  How can you use what you have for good?
  • Brainstorm about the needs you know concerning our church’s local partners, international organizations, and mission groups. Are there any needs your group can meet by serving together?