None of us like to think that we are being controlled by greed, but what if we are? If you knew that you were being fueled by greed rather than love would you want to change? Proverbs says that “A stingy man hastens after wealth and does not know that poverty will come upon him. A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trust in the Lord will be enriched.”Prov. 28:22;25
Sowing and Reaping
We live in a sowing and reaping world. When we are greedy we reap the reward of our greed. In our pursuit of riches we receive our reward in our riches, but what about in heaven? “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions.”Gal. 6:7-8;3-4 “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”Mat. 16:26
Greed is defined as “excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.” Rapacious is defined as being, “given to seizing for plunder or the satisfaction of greed” (Dictionary.com). Jesus said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”Lk. 12:15 This flies in the face of everything that we are taught in the world that we live in. Market research has gotten so in depth that we are driven to buy a product based up the way it looks. We are driven by advertisements that tell us over and over that we need their product. The worse part of it all is that as we continue buying stuff we desire even more. Our stuff actually causes us to be discontent and to become anxious.
Fighting Against Greed
When we are truly honest with ourselves and look around our houses we will probably find that we have succumbed to greed without even realizing. The deception of having riches and possessions is great and it causes us to want even more. Having wealth and owning stuff is not evil, but unfortunately it often times draws us away from God without our knowing it. The key is to learn how to be content and to love God first. What good are riches and worldly possessions if in return we lose our soul?
To fight against greed means that we must be on guard at all times. Greed invades our lives through little whispers. Sometimes it manifests in envy of our neighbors or friends. Have you ever been jealous of someone’s newest purchase? It makes us think that if only we had “X” that we would be happy. It causes us to be stingy with others, even with our friends. Have you ever been reluctant to help someone else out, even if they are truly in need? All of these things cause us to take our eyes off of God. In order to fight against greed we must then do the opposite. We must keep our focus on God and put our trust in Him with all things.
Greed Disguised as Comfort
“The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
The New Living Translation says, “a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” When we seek comfort and security rather than a relationship with God then we are being fools. We must constantly be on guard against the deceptive practices of pursuing comfort rather than God. When we pursue God with all of our being we can find true comfort. Stop being deceived by the ways of the world and instead pursue God.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Experience Financial Freedom without Greed
If we are ever to experience true financial freedom we must learn to cast of all forms of greed and envy. We must learn to be content in Christ Jesus alone. “The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.”Prov. 19:23 We all must chose for ourselves who we will follow in life. We must decide it in our hearts and in our minds to follow Christ at all costs in order to experience true financial freedom.
I will leave you with this final question. Would you be willing to give up everything that you own in this world in order to follow Jesus?