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GREED-FREE HEART (1)

Date: 
Friday, May 27, 2022
Bible Meditation: 
Luke 12: 14-31

“Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own”– Luke 12:15, NLT

A remarkable result of Redemption is the nurturing of a GREED-FREE HEART: “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own” (Lk.12:15, The New Living Translation). Life is about more than money. Granted – money can make life a lot easier. Like health, finances are one of the things that are easy to take for granted until they are gone. However, when the desire to accumulate wealth becomes all-consuming, it can eclipse the realities that make having money worth anything: family, friends, community, and relationships – helping and sharing with others. In other words, Greed steals from life’s better joys!

Greed, at its basest, is willing to sacrifice all these things for its own ends. It can cloud one’s vision of what really matters. Greed is the assumption that what we have is for our consumption. Greed believes the lie that we owe it to ourselves to make sure we have any kind of lifestyle we want to have, however ostentatious. Greed is selfish refusal to bless others with the extra that God has given us, whether in form of money, time, skill, possessions or other resources. While as Christians we say and believe that God is the Owner and we are stewards, greed moves us to live differently. Greed affirms: “I owe myself…I must get all that I can for myself”!

Greed is a very subtle emotion; hence we’re warned to “be on guard against all kinds of greed” (v.15). Greed looks for a good façade to hide behind, such as opportunistic saving or the need for a secure future, to selfishly accumulating resources. Greedy people talk and worry a lot about money and wealth. They are not cheerful givers; are reluctant to share, seldom express gratitude; are poor losers, quibble over money, talk as if they have just enough to get by, create a culture of secrecy around them, won’t let others forget what they’ve given or done; aren’t content with what they have, and attempt to control people with their money. Their stuff is an extension of who they are. There’s never enough to satisfy their needs. They say: “It’s solely mine. I earned it. I deserve it!

FEAR fuels GREED: “What if…”! This includes the fear of loss. The greedy think that God can’t or won’t take care of them. They need to find sense of security in outward things. A greedy person is someone who saves carefully but gives sparingly. Greed is typified by the rich young ruler who amassed stupendous wealth, trusting that he had unlimited time to enjoy it (Lk.12: 15-19). “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ (v.20). As long as I’m on a quest for more, then when more does come I’ll assume it’s all for me. Greed is not a feeling, but a refusal to act! We can feel compassion toward people in need and still be avaricious. Greed is proven not by how we feel but by what we do.

Generosity is the antidote to greed in the heart, freeing us to love God and others. God has universal Ownership. We’re not owners; but stewards or managers of His resources in our hands. It’s more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). The culture of consumerism keeps many focused on what they don’t have rather than on what they do, leaving them vulnerable to greed. In their hearts, they want to give, but can’t or won’t because they’re afraid they won’t have enough! Generous feelings and good intentions don’t compensate for a greedy heart. The generous heart gives cheerfully (2Cor.9:7).

Let’s deny the opportunity for greed to plant itself in our heart and grow like a weed. When God provides us with more than our daily bread, it’s not only to ensure our children have enough accumulated for their future; so that we don’t have to worry; or to elevate our standard of living; it is essentially to nurture our generosity and commitment to stewardship!

Adetokunbo O. Ilesanmi (Meditations)

Prayer: 
Lord, nurture in us a GREED-FREE HEART that’s liberated from fear, given to generosity and committed to stewardship, in Jesus name.
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