- I considered my ways and turned my feet to Your testimonies – Psalm 119:59
There are several indicators or evidences that Greed may be creeping around trying to get a grip of your disposition. The purpose of this study is to both highlight those sour “fruit” and to offer in opposition a lesson on greed’s opposing virtue: generosity.
Greedy people are selfish thieves
Greedy people hold onto stuff instead of sharing – and in that sense the greedy person is a thief – taking what God has prepared for another and keeping it for themself. We are not to be selfish – we are to work and give. Greedy people do not share; they are selfish and steal
- But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? – 1 John 3:7
- He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need – Ephesians 4:28
Greedy people lack empathy
Greed shows itself by the direction we face. It shows when we stand in front of a need and turn way. Notice how Isaiah points out this “turning” – that the greedy turn away to selfish ends.
- And the dogs are greedy, they are not satisfied. They are shepherds who have no understanding. They have all turned to their own way, each one to his unjust gain, to the last one. – Isaiah 56:11
The greedy person wants what they don’t have – they want what you have and will twist and entice you to get it – they don’t care about the state of the other person – so long as they can use them.
- Having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children – 2 Peter 2:14
Greedy people have no restraint
This person lives without boundaries. All things are open and lawful from their point of view; they abandon and desert the Jesus Path and take any road, any direction away. Notice our verse below, Jesus says “every form of greed” – that greed has no set approach, no boundaries, no restraint. Notice too He tells us to both “be aware” as well as “to guard against”. These are two separate things. Not only to notice greed in ourselves – but to protect ourselves from it. We will return to the defensive part a little later in our study.
- Then He said to them, beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions – Luke 12:15
Greedy people manipulate
They hear what you got to say – but they live two lives. They have one face they give you in order to manipulate others. (Or is it you and I who do this?) It looks like love but it isn’t. Greed makes a person lie a to gain money, possessions, notoriety, or trust.
- My people come to you, as they usually do, and sit before you to hear your words, but they do not put them into practice. Their mouths speak of love, but their hearts are greedy for unjust gain – Ezekiel 33:31
False words. Manipulative lies which serve only to exploit. The greedy person wants to use you. Now notice in the verse below, that although the greedy person thinks they are persuasive and modern in their lies, their thinking their judgement (and eventual destruction) is old – it’s ancient, humanist, old as Eden – it’s the thinking of the evil elohiym – active and vengeful.
- And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. – 2 Peter 2:24
Greedy people are treacherous
The Greedy man turns and spits in the face of God – they are disloyal and faithless – they spun or detest the Jesus Path. The heart of treachery is deceit. Greed makes you develop your own version of truth – anything that people will believe. Greed makes you smile with different intentions then you let on. This is treachery.
- The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, but the treacherous will be caught by their own greed – Proverbs 11:16
- Because from the least even to the greatest everyone is greedy for gain; from the prophet even to the priest everyone practices deceit – Jeremiah 6:13
The virtue you and I must study, develop and practice in order to defeat the dreadful sin of greed is generosity. Let’s explore four truths about the generous person that we might gain ascendancy over any form of greed that might show in our behaviors.
- The Generous know it’s all God’s
- The Generous get return
- The Generous are ready to share
- The Generous keeps perspective
The Generous know it’s all God’s
- But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You – 1 Chronicles 29:14
- For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hill – Isaiah 50:10
The Generous get return
- Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return – Luke 6:38
- Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days – Ecclesiastes 11:1
- The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered – Proverbs 11:25
The Generous are ready to share
- Freely you received, freely give – Matthew 10:8
- Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share – 1 Timothy 6:18
- But you shall freely open your hand to the poor, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks – Deuteronomy 16:8
The Generous keeps perspective
- Sell your possessions and give to charity;make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys – Luke 12:33
- 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 – Matthew 6:25
- This world is passing away, and also its lusts;but the one who does the will of God lives forever – 1 John 2:17
- But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up – 2 Peter 3:10
Why do we selfishly hoard our time, our money, our possessions, our giftedness? Let’s be aware and be on our guard against every form of greed.
- But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints – Ephesians 5:3
Remember: selfishness and greediness must be fought! We must be intentional to focus on becoming more generous. Let’s remember the five points of defense we have:
- Bible Study
- Gathering together
- Serving others
- Sharing the Good News
Next lesson at Restart will be to learn more about sharing the Good News. I hope you will tune in. Please mash the link below to contact me directly. I am honored to hear from you. May the Lord Bless You as You Go.