Greed is a corrosive force that saps the joy out of life. As greed increases its presence in our lives, our sensitivity to the spirit of God decreases. Greed is dangerous because it is more subtle and more pervasive than we often realize.
Greed comes in many forms. Jesus warned His disciples to guard against “every kind of greed” (Luke 12:15 NLT). Because many of us believe that greed has to do solely with money, we have let our guard down against some of greed’s less obvious yet equally destructive forms. Besides money, we are often greedy for time and relationships.
Greed causes us to feel like we never have enough time. When we are greedy for time we panic to get things done. We will be irritable and impatient with others. We will be dominated by fear. We will be afraid of not meeting deadlines or accomplishing our goals. There will be a feeling that life is passing you by.
When we crave to know people God has not intended for us it is essentially greed for relationship. This sort of greed causes us to seek the wrong kind of people. Perhaps we will seek people with more money or more influence than us to increase our sense of importance. A great deal of sexual sin is rooted in us not being content with who or where we are.
When all our wishes are considered needs it is a sure sign of financial greed. Greed for money causes us to be obsessed with material things. This causes us to be afraid will never have enough. We set unrealistic goals for ourselves and live with constant frustration.
How to get over greed
The good news is that greed and gratitude cannot long coexist. You can overcome any form of greed with expressed gratitude. When we feel rushed and tempted to panic, thank God that He is ordering your steps and that you will carry out everything He has planned for you. Instead of striving to get to know some rich or important person in a key network, we can thank God for the people He has placed in our lives. In times of frustration with our income or possessions we can thank God that He graciously provides all that we need.
Contentment and greed are opposites. As the Bible says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). The surest way we can move from greed to contentment is to express gratitude for what God has provided and for what He is doing in us today.
- I mentioned greed for time, relationships, and money. What other types of greed would you add to this list?
- What sort of greed do you most struggle with? How does it affect you?
- What specific expressions of gratitude could you exercise today?