It happens every time you walk into a store. You might have gone in just to buy a loaf of bread, but there sitting in front of you are shelves of candy, videos, games, toys, clothes – everything you ever wanted tempting you, pleading with you, buy me! Buy me! Your eyes feast on the objects. Then you look up at your mom with a question in your eyes. “Mom, can I have….?” Suddenly, it’s not about buying bread anymore. It’s all about you. Without realizing it – you have just developed a case of the greedies!
What’s wrong with wanting things? If you stop and think about it, most arguments take place because somebody wants something that they don’t have. It’s in the Bible "What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Isn't it because there is a whole army of evil desires within you? You want what you don't have, so you kill to get it. You long for what others have, and can't afford it, so you start a fight to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it"(James 4:1-2, TLB). Wars, murders and robberies take place every day because people want what they don’t have.
It's okay to have material things, isn't it? God wants us to have what we need, but Jesus warned that it’s easy to let our possessions get out of control. "Then [Jesus] said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Luke 12:15, NIV).
Is it true that the love of money leads to evil? It’s in the Bible, "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many grief’s" (1 Timothy 6:10, NIV).
Are there any examples of greed in the Bible? Yes. There is a story of greed in almost every book of the Bible. There is the story of Eve disobeying God for a piece of fruit – see Genesis 2:15-3:6. There is the story of Lucifer who wanted to take God’s place – see Isaiah 14:12-15. There is the story of greedy Gehazi who coveted money and clothes and was punished with the disease of leprosy – read 2 Kings 5:15-27. Then there is the story of Achan who caused Israel to lose a battle over a garment, and some silver and gold – read the story in Joshua 7:4-26. In the New Testament there is the story of Simon who was greedy for power – read Acts 8:18-22. Also in Acts is the story of Ananias and Sapphira who perished over the love of money – read Acts 5:1-11. The worst story of greed had to be Judas who sold Jesus for $12.60 in silver pieces. See Matthew 27:3-6.
What can I do to overcome greed? It’s in the Bible,
- “Rejoice always, (be happy) pray without ceasing, (stay in contact with God) in everything give thanks; (express thankfulness) for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” 1 Thessalonians (16-18, NKJV).
- Think of others first. “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35, NKJV).
- Claim these promises. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Corinthians 15:57, NKJV). And again, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, (Jude 24, NKJV).
- Be generous. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7)