Greed gives us the wrong perspective

Don’t think you are immune to greed; which is the intoxicating desire to want more than you have. We live in a culture that breeds it, like a mold on a petri dish.

Greed is one of the most universal sins there is. It has nothing to do with the existence of money. It’s about our attitudes.

It breeds a mountain of other sins in our personal lives, cities, and nations.

It affects all ages, and all income brackets.

You don’t have to teach a two year-old to be greedy, everyone knows that!

The poor want more to get out of their poverty, the middle class want to get ahead,

and the wealthy want to keep their wealth and even make more.

The cornerstone of envy and jealousy is greed. And PRIDE is the cornerstone

of greed. Greed is saying “NO!” to what God has given you. It is saying “NO!” to being

content.

In its base form, greed IS idolatry. Greed puts our wants first, certainly not God’s

Greed must be exterminated in your heart just like unwanted cockroaches

desires or our fellow man’s. Greed is in our heart, and must be exterminated.

Greed tells us to spend all of our time chasing after something that can be very elusive.

Jesus teaches us about greed in the Parable of Rich Fool.

Take the time to read it in Luke 12:1-21 (especially vs. 15)  Just don’t store up things for yourself.  That man is a fool.  Your life if not your own. You can die at anytime! Jesus teaches this parable to teach us the danger of greed and storing things up for ourselves.

Paul says in Colossians 3:5-10 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

 

John Steinbeck wrote a book called The Pearl. Even though not a “Christian book”, it captivates the problem of greed in our lives! It’s the story of a happy, but poor, pearl diver who dreams of finding the perfect pearl. One day he finds it, but rather than bringing him the happiness he had hoped for, it brings him one problem after another, because everyone is after his pearl. He almost gets killed. His son is killed. He and his wife are at odds. His formerly tranquil life is totally upset because of his attempts to cling to this pearl. Finally, he stands at the shore and hurls the cursed pearl as far into the sea as he can. That’s what we must do with our greed!

Instead, build contentedness in your life.  Realize that God has you where you are for a reason. Focus on him, and cease striving. (read Psalms 46:10)

In Philippians, we read about the apostle Paul:

Philippians 4:11b-12 Paul had learned how to be content in any situation; he knew what is was to be in need, and knew what it was to have plenty. He had learned the secret, to allow God to help make him content in any circumstance. He knew what it was to be in need, and knew what it was to have plenty. Whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Paul tells his young friend Timothy this:

1 Timothy 6:6-11 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, wander from the faith because of the pursuit of it and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Adjust your heart barometer regarding greed. This sin can captivate us and cause us alienation from God.

If you have struggled with greed like I have, confess it to the Lord regularly, and rely on the Holy Spirit to help you with it.

In the next blog, we will focus on gluttony, an often overlooked sin in America.

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About Dr. Robert

I am married to Janet and we have four children. I am active in Grace church in Racine, Wisconsin and serve there in leadership and teaching . I have been an internist for 30 years and keep busy by taking care of a full load of patients. On the side, I like to write, coach, mentor, spend time with my family just hangin' out, and help take care of our three dogs; two Golden retrievers named Reagen and Finley and a Bernese named Sadie'.
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3 Responses to Greed gives us the wrong perspective

  1. Marlies Ernst says:

    Great insights! We also need to steward our entire lives. Believers should steward their retirement years by being spiritual mentors and influencers for those who follow us. Too often, the American concept of retirement gives us an excuse to be greedy with our later years. There is a great need for us to consolidate our Christian experience, skills, and life-wisdom, and let God use us in the lives of Gen Xers, Millenials, and Gen Z. They are yearning for mentors. The Kingdom demands it.

    • Dr. Robert says:

      I am personally against the concept of retirement. I think it has been perpetrated by our culture, especially in the US. To me, it oozes with the temptation of greed. Moses was 80 years old when he was asked by God to shepherd the Israelites out of Egypt. Of course he balked at it and had a self image problem because of his stuttering. God told him, “You’re my man, now move! Aaron can do some speaking for you.”

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