Reasons to Rid Ourselves of all Greed (2)


Jesus Christ instructs us to guard against all greed, because greed causes people to desire temporary things, and lose satisfaction in God. Why should we rid ourselves of all greed? There are many reasons:


1.      For a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15). When we have been illuminated by God and come to know the Bible, we realize that the eternal repository of our spirit is more important than the temporary needs of the body, and that an abundant life is more precious than a bountiful livelihood. Our lives are not in our own hands, but in the hands of God who gives life. The children of God should have the wisdom to distinguish the relative priorities and orders of everyday existence.


2.      For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it (1 Timothy 6:7). Life is like a sojourn – bare from a mother’s womb, and bare to return where one hails from. Since material things cannot be brought into the eternity of the spiritual realm, we should not place too much emphasis on temporary, corporeal things and neglect those with eternal value, and especially not desire a world that is an enemy to God.


3.      Greed causes us to lose our love of our Father (1 John 2:15). John admonishes us, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15) A person who is hopelessly greedy will only be concerned for himself and disdain all interpersonal relationships. Esau was one who desired the traditions of the world. He treated lightly his own birthright and marriage, and made his parents worry for him.


4.      Greed reverts us to slavery under the King of the World. Although Christ, through the salvation of the Cross, brought us back into the light from sin and the dominion of Satan, the King of the World still employs all his wiles to tempt the Children of God into stumbling and failing, and even falling back into his control. He is most fond of using the glamour, pleasures, wealth, fame and power of the world to seduce us into turning away from God and serving him.


5.      Greed will directly bring about worry. Jesus taught people to rid themselves of all avarice, and used the parable of the ignorant rich man to point out the foolishness of those who covet wealth. He followed by teaching us not to worry about our lives - what to eat, and our bodies – what to wear (Luke 12:15-32). Many people fall into the snare of worry because they covet what is not their due. Greed and worry constitute a snake with two heads. We should be cautious lest we be bitten by it.


6.      Greed will generate a series of failures and bad consequences. The love of money is the root of all evil. In Chapter 6 of 1 Timothy, Paul points out that greed, especially the love of money, will cause Christians to slip step by step and stumble in their spiritual journey. People who are eager for money fall into temptation and wander from the faith, and so are pierced with many griefs. They descend into delusion (trials) and end up in the trap of Satan, where many foolish and harmful desires entangle them and plunge them into ruin, finally inviting destruction.


7.      The greedy will not inherit the Kingdom of God. This writer believes it is the most severe warning against the avaricious in the Bible. Only the righteous will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Greed equates to unrighteousness, and the consequence is that the Kingdom of God cannot be inherited (1 Corinthians 6:10). “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Ephesians 5:5)


Therefore the children of God must be very cautious, and not allow any greedy thoughts to germinate in their hearts. They should take satisfaction in the grace bestowed by God, learn to count the blessings of the Lord, be compassionate towards the down-trodden and poor, and zealously be a blessing to others for the sake of the Lord.


By: Daniel To