THE VICE OF GREEDNovember 29, 2017 2023-04-05 19:11
THE VICE OF GREED
THE VICE OF GREED
The Bible is filled with warnings on greed. Even King Solomon, who acquired a massive quantity of both divine wisdom and wealth, wrote, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity,” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 ESV). When one pursues money and worldly honors, he or she loses sight of that which truly matters; moreover, he becomes tied down to the corporeal world, hence unable to ascend to the heavenly places. The love of money is the downfall of modern Christianity given that many choose not to contribute their time or possessions to the local church. When one is too concerned with the next paycheck or the next run of the corporate ladder, he becomes consistently dissatisfied. In contrast, the laborer cannot rest, as he constantly worries about his next form of income or how much it might be. Jesus tells us that the birds do not worry about where they will acquire their food or how they will make ends meet, and that God still provides for their needs. Does our heavenly Father not love us more than sparrows? (cf. Matt. 6:26).
This is the social crisis which the contemporary world finds itself in. In our fast-paced culture, where business and corporate success are viewed as ideal, we are always on our phones, speaking to our co-workers and bosses, and worrying about the business we hope to bring in money, rather than loving our neighbor. “I pay my taxes,” you might say, “and certainly that money goes to help needy families. Plus, I always place my vote for the candidate most concerned with social issues!” This stream of thinking is not uncommon in the urban environment—it’s a thinking that places Christians under the mistaken persuasion that their civil responsibilities also cover their religious duties.
Jesus was not into that practice; in fact, he commanded Christians to immerse themselves into the world and feed the hungry, love the lonely, and care for the lowly of stature (Matt. 25:35-40). But with the ridiculously busy schedules, addiction to social media, and love for money, the brotherly love Jesus commanded has come to a shockingly short end. “Whoever has two tunics,” Jesus ordered,” is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise,” (Lk. 3:11 ESV). The question is who among the so-called Christians in church on Sunday mornings has a multitude of tunics? Let him keep but one for himself and unselfishly distribute the others among his spiritual siblings. This form of charity is not being advanced by the New Testament; it is actually a natural procession from God’s character. Moreover, God commands, in the Pentateuchal code: “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor… you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother,” (Deut. 15:7 ESV). The passage implies that loving one’s fellow and expressing an authentic willingness to care for him the way he or she would his or her own self are natural manifestations of God’s love. Without this social aspect of God’s love, we will be hard-pressed to acquire any internal aspect of God’s love.
Many of us are unintentionally greedy. We are blissfully unaware of our luxurious lifestyles; however, it is often the sin in our life that we have grown numb to that which is actually the most dangerous to our souls. Although it is difficult, one must look into his or her life, contemplate on the vice of greed and, if he or she is found to be subjected to it, seek to overcome it by the Spirit. The temptation to live “high on the hog” is saturated into most societies. Moreover, the American Dream has only added to the Christian’s desire for material success and corporeal riches.
Jesus tells us that seeking material possessions and treasures on earth is meaningless, because all those simply fade in time and someone will have those, too, in the end. Instead of busying ourselves with those earthly possessions, Jesus tells us to instead “store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matt. 6:20-21 NRSV). One deposit of these heavenly treasures is the earnest expectation in the future glory which believers may be able to obtain. Paul refers to this as a kind of glory that cannot be compared with present temporal sufferings or poverty (cf. Rom. 8:18). Therefore, instead of seeking after material things, we must seek that which is divine, for “heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away,” (Matt. 24:35 NRSV).
Allow yourself to be an empty space for God to move and to minister to other people. Be equipped and sign up for this FREE Course and experience the Power of Prophecy to open up your mind to what God is doing in your life right now!
Where is your treasure? What consumes your time, energy, and attention?