Sunday, August 18, 2013

What did Jesus Say About Greed?

Anybody can be greedy, a child or senior citizen, a minimum wage earner or a corporate executive. Is it a bad thing? Doesn't it drive and motivate our economy? Jesus took a different view.

A man's brother was getting an unfair share of the inheritance so he went to Jesus and asked him to help divide the inheritance but Jesus would not. Then Jesus said to the crowd...

"...Watch out be on your guard against all kinds of greed, life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." Luke 12:15.

Greed is a strong desire that consumes us, this desire is to have and keep for oneself possessions of perceived extreme value, and these possessions are far beyond our need.

Greed is so serious Christ uses a double phrase to warn how urgent the situation is. He says we should guard like a soldier on the wall scanning the horizon for an invading enemy; we should not let up for a moment but be vigilant in guarding against the enemy. We do not guard against a friend but against a foe, and greed is an enemy we must guard against.

There are many temptations to greed and it comes in many forms.
     * Comforts.
     * Treasures.
     * Security.
     * Wealth.
     * Superior living standard.
     * Freedom.
     * To live better than others.
We may each have our own private greed that is a particular temptation to us. We must know it and guard against it.

No one said it better than Christ when he said, "Life does not consist of in an abundance of possessions." All these things do not add up to you.

Jesus lived the most beautiful life ever lived. He said, "I have come so you may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10). But he also said, "Birds have nest and foxes have holes but the son of man, (Christ) had nowhere to lay his head." (Luke 9:58). He was poor.

This abundant life Our Lord taught was more fulfilling than one of gratification, luxury, satisfaction, or gluttony. His life was a life of service, giving, deeds of charity, and acts of compassion.

His disciples do not seek poverty, but they do not seek possessions either. What they do seek is the Lord. "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be yours as well." Matthew 6:33.