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Defeating the Idol of Greed

I think we can all agree on this statement — a lot of problems come from money when our heart is focused on money (I Tim. 6:9-10). If money is our god, then heartaches will follow. There are more than 2,000 verses in the Bible about money and possessions. Nearly half of Jesus’ parables deals with money and possessions. Why did Jesus talk a lot about money? Because He realized money can be His greatest competition for our hearts. In fact, there are very few subjects that are more Biblical than the subject of money.

The Greek word for “greed” found in Colossians 3:5 is translated covetousness; the desire for more. Greed is not a new problem (Eccl. 1:9). Many individuals in the Bible had their hearts corrupted by greed. Achan, Gehazi, and Ananias and Sapphira quickly come to mind. Greed is a plague that has infected mankind almost since day one.

So, how can we defeat the idol of greed?

Contentment is learned, not inherited (Phil. 4:11): We’ll never wake up one day and suddenly be content. We must learn to be content — no matter the situation, if I have a little or a lot. Contentment is about looking at what we have through a different lens. We’re just a steward of what God has given to us. Everything we have is God’s and from God.

Appreciate the generosity of God (James 1:17): Nothing in this world is ours, but is generously given to us by God. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. Let’s take it a step further. We must also understand God’s generosity toward us in the gospel (II Cor. 8:9). Jesus, who was rich, became poor, so that we would be spiritually rich.

Budget God first and generously (Prov. 3:9-10): Our God is an awesome God. God deserves our best (Mal. 1:6-8, 14). Honor Him with your firstfruits. God is not the Salvation Army. He shouldn’t get our throwaways or crumbs. We all love those who are generous and cheerful givers. God does, too.

On the back of a dollar bill is the phrase, “In God We Trust.” Do you put your trust in God, or in your money and possessions? God does not promise us health, wealth, and prosperity. What He does promise are spiritual blessings — mercy, love, grace, kindness, forgiveness, and a heavenly home.

Steven Matthews


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