Date: Monday, April 28
Scripture: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
Verse: But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)
You have heard it said, “Money cannot buy happiness.” Michael Norton, a Harvard professor and social scientist disagrees. If you think money cannot buy happiness, he says, “you’re actually just not spending it right.” According to his experimentation, people who spend money on themselves are no happier after the transaction than they were before. People who choose instead to spend money on others, are found to be measurably happier (Learn more here). So selfishness does nothing for us, but generosity can actually make us happier.
Notice how the first sin, choosing to eat the fruit from “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” was not just about doing what Adam and Eve were told not to do, it was also about giving in to the temptation to “be like God.” The sin was choosing one’s own desire over the desire of God. This is a sin committed by well-meaning people every day. When we look into our motivations for what we do, our goals and aspirations, our simple choices of how we spend our time, money, and relationships, we find ourselves not far from the Garden.
Sin is not simply abiding by a series of arbitrary rules to appease a distant God. Rather, sin is choosing our way over God’s. It is about attempting to do what is best for us, when God knows far better. It is about choosing to spend our money on ourselves, which we think will make us happy, rather than being generous which actually makes us happy. God really knows what is best for us. Choosing another way, especially our own way, is attractive, but sinful.
Prayer: Teach me, O God, to hear your voice and your way of the tempter’s voice and my own way. Amen.
Action: Make yourself happy: do something generous for someone — pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru, get coffee for a coworker, treat your best friend to lunch…
Respond: Do you agree that generosity makes you happier? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” or “1 (or more) Comment” below.
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