Is the issue of greed as vexing an issue in your life as it is in mine? How, for example do we find balance in our response to the ever-present financial needs of people around us while responsibly providing for our family – without a spirit of greed? How do we determine whether we are being generous or self-serving when it comes to the stewardship of money? Are we unwittingly caught up in the trap of upward mobility, or are we truly content with what God has allowed us materially? (See I Jn. 3:16-18; 1 Tim. 5:8; 2 Cor. 9:7, 8; Prov. 27:20; I Tim. 6:6-10)
Greed is an excessive or reprehensible desire to acquire; a passion to possess more than you have. 1 (See Lk. 12:15) I John 2:16 describes greed as the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] (Amp. N. T.). The Scriptures inform us that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Tim. 6:10a). Hebrews 13:5 cautions and comforts us:
Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!] (Amp) (See Lk. 12:15)
One reason greed so insidiously creeps into our lives is that in our culture it seems okay to be greedy, as long as youre not crass, arrogant, or grossly insensitive to other peoples feelings.Much of unrecognized greed stems from noble intentions to build a safe and secure financial base for loved ones. 2
We observe greeds seductive power in:
Ahabs willingness to commit murder to obtain Naboths vineyard. (I Kin. 21)
Achens obdurate disobedience in stealing the spoils of war. (Jos. 7)
Solomons rapacious acquisitions. (Ecc. 2:10, 11)
Judas cold-blooded betrayal of Jesus for a pittance of a reward. (Matt. 26:14, 15) (See Act. 5:1-11; Num. 22:4-20; 2 Pet. 2:15; Jude 1:11)
In next weeks Facts we will (1) discuss how we can discern when greed has seeped into our souls, and (2) give three practical suggestions to help us overcome greed.
This week may you experience His grace, peace and protection.
R. Dwight Hill
1Taking Your Soul to Work R. Paul Stevens and Alvin Ung, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI, 2010 p. 21; 2 Ibid p 23Views: 22