How to Guard against Greed (3)
During the past 2 weeks, this writer had discoursed on the reasons Christians should guard against and be rid of all greed. The consequences of avarice being so horrendous, how can we guard against it? In his epistles to Timothy, Paul gave us some practicable suggestions:
Pursue godliness in life (1 imothy
6:6). A Christian cannot live life idly and slovenly, for Satan is like a
roaring lion that prowls around looking for someone to devour. If we are
insufficiently vigilant in our daily existence, we will be consumed by it.
Godliness is the proper attitude for saintly living. It requires constant
pursuit and training in one’s spiritual life (1Timothy 4:7). If we hold fast to
the precious promise of God, consistently and earnestly train ourselves in the
lessons of faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness,
brotherly kindness, and love, then we will not falter but be able to enter
bountifully into the eternal
2. Have a contented heart. “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6) The opposite of greed is a contented heart. Paul admonishes us, “If we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (1 Timothy 6:8) The word contentment in the original context means sufficiency. The Lord Jesus Christ said to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you.”(2 Corinthians 12:9) If a Christian accepts what he has received with satisfaction, and learns to always count the Lord’s blessings and give thanks to God, he will discover that God’s grace is indeed sufficient. Contentment is believing firmly that God is faithful, and that His grace is sufficient for us. The author of the Book of Hebrews also encourages us, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’" (Hebrews 13:5)
3. Put our hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment; unlike people of the world, who put their hope in the false security that wealth brings. We have all heard it said, “Money can buy a comfortable bed, but not a restful sleep; entertainment, but not joy; medication, but not health; a large house, but not peace; sex, but not true love; an academic degree, but not wisdom.” Rest, joy, health, peace, true love, wisdom etc. all come from God. God is our immutable, loving Father. He cannot be compared to fickle wealth. The children of God should learn to put their hope in the Heavenly Father, and not on wealth.
4. Strive to do good deeds and show generosity to others. “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” (1 Timothy 6:11) Since we are citizens of the Heavenly realm and merely sojourners on earth, we should not place our satisfaction in the acquisition of more material things. On the contrary, we should be unstintingly generous to those in need, just as Jesus Christ, because of His love for man, willingly gave up all that He had for him, even His own life. A bountiful life is measured by how much one is willing to offer of himself for the Lord. Jesus answered the rich young man who sought eternal life by saying, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor…” (Luke 18:22) Striving to good deeds, cheerfully offering philanthropy, being generous, and giving to the poor are the keys for Christians to guard against greed. Not only will there be treasures stored in Heaven, but God will be well pleased. (Luke 18:22, 2 Corinthians 9:7-9) Giving is a greater blessing than receiving – that is a true saying.
By relying on the Lord, we must rid ourselves of all greed, live a life of godliness, have a contented heart, learn to put our hope in God, and cheerfully do good deeds and show generosity. Then we will be able to enter bountifully into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.