“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” —Colossians 3:5
We live in a “stuff” driven world where it does not seem to matter how much we have — it is never enough.
Greed and contentment cannot reside in the same heart.
As Christmas approaches, we need to guard our hearts against greed … and choose an attitude of gratitude.
Cantaloupe may very well be my favorite food. When it is in season, I stock up and always have some on hand. On one particularly hot day, a lunch of cantaloupe sounded luscious … and it was. Afterwards, I was gone for several hours, running errands. When I walked back in the front door that afternoon, a foul stench nearly knocked me down. It was such a strong odor!
A dead animal was my first thought. A plumbing problem was my next idea. I began a room-to-room search that ended abruptly at the kitchen sink. Opening the cabinet underneath, I nearly gagged at the stench that slapped me in the face and made my eyes water.
I instantly remembered that I had thrown the cantaloupe peels in the garbage before running errands and forgotten to take them to the outside garbage can as I usually did. The house reeked and the delicious cantaloupe was forgotten as I threw the peels away, lit every candle I could find, and opened every window in an effort to eliminate the odor of rotting fruit.
Greed acts the same way in our lives and must be treated like garbage.
Deliberately throw it away. Remove it as soon as you discover its presence in your life. Greed is the gangrene of the soul. If we don't quickly deal with it, greed will contaminate every emotion, creating a foul stench in every part of our lives.
Choose against greed. Fight it with Scripture, and bombard it with prayer, remembering that God alone is our provider, and that He will supply our every need.
I have come to the conclusion that the underlying problem with wants and needs is that we confuse the two. What we want and what we need are not always the same thing. Anyone who has met my husband will tell you that he is down-to-earth and unassuming. Dan may be a mega church pastor, but he is also very approachable and unpretentious.
The truck Dan drives is proof that he is totally unimpressed with the material things this world has to offer. Our family named the truck “Old Blue” for two reasons. It is old and it is blue. However, it is paid for, and it runs well, and that is all Dan needs.
I am certain Dan would not turn down an offer from someone who wanted to buy him a brand new Ford F‑150 truck as a Christmas gift. In fact, from time to time, I have seen him gaze at some bright, shiny new truck with longing in his eyes.
Dan is the lead teaching pastor of a church that runs over 5,500 people in attendance each week and could easily rationalize driving a nice car or truck as part of his pastoral image. But Dan is not the least bit concerned with his pastoral image when it comes to material possessions. He is, however, deeply concerned with the image of God being seen in his life.
Is it wrong to want and desire nice things?
Not if we view and use those nice things as tools and refuse to worship them as idols. I sometimes think God has to strip us of everything we have so we can learn that He is our Source.
Just as the shepherd meets every need of his sheep, God meets our every need. Just as sheep totally depend on the care of their shepherd, we would be wise to totally depend on God. He is our Provider. He is our Source. And He is all we need.
Do you really see God as your Provider, the One who stands ready to meet every need you will ever have? Does your life reflect the promise that God is enough?
Think back to times when God has met your needs. Record each experience in your Victory Journal. And if you don’t have a Victory Journal, today would be a great time to start keeping one. Make a habit of searching for and keeping a record of God’s provision in your life.
"Jesus said to them, "Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. Life is not measured by how much one owns" —Luke 12:15