PRACTICALLY SPEAKING, greed is an inordinate desire for more, an excessive, unsatisfied hunger to possess. Like an untamed beast, greed grasps, claws, reaches, clutches, and clings—stubbornly refusing to surrender. The word enough is not in this beast’s vocabulary.
Akin to envy and jealousy, greed is nevertheless distinct. Envy wants to have what someone else possesses. Jealousy wants to possess what it already has. But greed is different. Greed is forever discontented and, therefore, insatiably craving, longing, wanting, striving for more, more, more . . .
Jesus told a story about a greedy farmer, who, having experienced an abundant crop, determined to build bigger barns for more riches. The man said,
"'What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
“But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’”
Jesus offered His own penetrating analysis:
“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
That’s the whole point of greed. You’ll want more and more of something that isn’t good for you. And in the getting of it, you’ll suffer the painful consequences. That’s why Jesus warns, “Beware. Be on your guard. This thing is like a cancer—an insatiable leech that will suck the life right out of you.”
Are you caught in the subtle trap of greed? Are you trading a rich and genuine relationship with God for the fleeting promise of ever-increasing financial gain? You’ll never regret allowing God’s Spirit to graciously but thoroughly remove the insidious cancer of greed from your heart. Take a few moments right now in prayer and invite the Lord to do some serious spiritual heart surgery.
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.