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Girlfriends in God - Jan. 26, 2007


January 26, 2007

The Disease of Greed

Part 2

Mary Southerland


Today's Truth

Luke 12:15 Then Jesus said to them, "Be careful and guard against all kinds of greed. Life is not measured by how much one owns."


Friend to Friend

It is my personal opinion that we were all born greedy – and got worse!  Life itself is constantly measured by “how much one owns” but the reality is that when we attach importance to things, we are walking straight into enemy territory where greed and jealousy reign.


The lure of things is stronger than the human will and many times, stands between us and God.  Someday I think we will discover that the wall that shuts out many from heaven is covered with silver and gold.


Cantaloupe may very well be my favorite food.  When it is in season, I stock up and always have some on hand. Last summer, on a particularly hot day, a lunch of cantaloupe sounded luscious...and it was. 


After lunch, 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 so strong.  A dead animal was my first thought.  A plumbing problem was my second.  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, making 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.  Nasty!           


Greed acts the same way.  It is the gangrene of the soul.  If not quickly dealt with, greed will contaminate every emotion and create a foul stench in every part of life. “So get rid of all malicious behavior and deceit. Don't just pretend to be good! Be done with hypocrisy and jealousy and backstabbing" (1 Peter 2:1 NLT).  


Greed must be treated like garbage! Deliberately throw it away!  Remove it from your life immediately!  In 2 Corinthians 7:1 we find the apostle Paul’s strong warning to “purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God" (NIV).  In other words, when the first hint of greed and jealousy comes, reject it!  Get rid of it!  Take it to the garbage!  Choose against it!  Fight it with Scripture and bombard it with prayer.  Nail it to the cross and count it dead. "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20 NIV).


Greed arises from a heart filled with wrong motives.  Every intention of our heart must be nailed to the cross and considered dead. "Consider" is an accounting term and literally means to “reckon" or to “calculate”.  While we will never be free from wrong motives this side of Heaven, we can and must “reckon” those very human and very wrong motives to be dead and through God's power, allow them no power or place in our lives. 


In his book, “Money, Sex and Power, Richard Foster, writes: Giving with glad and generous hearts has a way of routing out the tough old miser within us. Even the poor need to know that they can give. Just the very act of letting go of money, or some other treasure, does something within us. It destroys the demon greed.”   Amen!


Let's Pray

Lord, I confess the sin of greed in my life.  Purify my heart and cleanse me from jealousy and greed.  I choose to submit every wrong motive and desire to Your will.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Now it's Your Turn

  • A loving Father meets the needs of His children.  Identify four needs in your life and the source from which those needs have been met.


  • “Provide” comes from two Latin words; “Pro” which means before and “video” which means “to see”.  How does this definition allow us to avoid greed and jealousy?


  • How does giving lessen the power of greed in our lives? 


  • Do you agree with the thought that to give with integrity means to give the right thing at the right time, to the right person or the right reason?  How can you apply this truth to your life?


More from the Girlfriends

One of the most powerful actions we can take in the war against greed is to learn how to give generously.  It may be time, talent, a listening ear, meeting a financial need…but the key is to focus on what we can give instead of what we can get. 


Luke 6:38 (NCV) “Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you."


For more on this topic, see Experiencing God’s Power in Your Ministry.  This is a book for every woman who longs to serve God in her daily life.


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