May 17 Guard yourself from all greed

Luke 12:15 “Then he said to them, “Watch out~~  and guard yourself ~~ from all types of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.

Christian teachings from the first century included warnings against the seven deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. All are corrupt and insatiable—-they promise satisfaction, but the soul is never content.

Greed enters our lives camouflaged as innocent ambition to be the best, but the masquerade hides the desire to be better, wealthier, or famous—-and to own more or better things—-than anyone in our circle of friends.

This quest for acceptance, respect, or honor is motivated by the belief that this is the way to find fulfillment and satisfaction in life. Greed usurps the place of God in our lives, yet is a poor substitute, however enticing.

When Jesus was asked about a man’s inheritance, He knew the man was preoccupied with getting his hands on the wealth that he thought he needed and was due to him. Jesus took the occasion to explain the vice that turns our hearts against the will and purpose of God.

He gives two commands asking us to be alert against being deceived or blindsided. We are told to “continually be taking heed,” “perceiving with the mind,” and to “continually be keeping ourselves on guard,” or “be aware of” traps or vices of “greed” or covetousness—-that is, the “constant desire or thirst to have more and more.”

How do you know if greed has taken root in your heart? The first symptom is discontent with whatever you have and the willingness to sacrifice everything or anyone to acquire more. As soon as one item is acquired, you are already thinking of something else you need.

The second symptom is the anger felt when someone or something impedes your acquisition of what you believe is necessary for your happiness. When you believe you need a sizable bank account balance to feel secure about your future, then whenever a preacher mentions tithing or generosity, your emotions will flare up.

Anger is a reaction to something or someone that interferes with what you think you need for security or success. Do you resent being askedfor your help?

“Dear God, thank You for supplying all I need to live according to Your will. Thank You also for all the wonderful things You have freely given us to enjoy. Help me never to want more than You want me to have.”

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