Greed is very insidious. It creeps into my life and I don’t recognize it at all some days. I have grown up in a materialistic culture. Who knows how many commercials I have seen touting things I should want. I am told I need them.
Do I? Do I need them? Will they really help me?
Someone out of the crowd said, “Teacher, order my brother to give me a fair share of the family inheritance.”
He replied, “Mister, what makes you think it’s any of my business to be a judge or mediator for you?”
Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.” | Luke 12:13-15 (The Message Bible)
What does Jesus think?
Jesus knows what he is talking about. Just ask the rich young ruler. Materialism, greed and covetousness are huge issues of the heart. Jesus has a goal for me. I need to be very, very careful to protect myself against the least bit of greed.
What defines my life?
Being a child of God is the main thing. I am to do God’s will and carry out His desires every day. That needs to be my focus.
Is Jesus clear on all of this?
Yes, on occasion after occasion, Jesus drives the point home. Here is a complete list of everything Jesus had to say about the homeless, wealth, prosperity, poverty, riches, the poor, the needy and giving. It is instructive to read all in one place.
Here are just a couple:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” Matthew 6:19 (NASB)
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? “And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. “But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” | Matthew 6:25–32 (NASB)
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ “So is the man who stores up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” Luke 12:20–21 (NASB)