27. Greed brings grief to the whole family, but those who hate bribes will live.
Proverbs 15:27 NLT
Today’s Passage covers the Sin of Greed, the desire for personal gain, and how it can corrupt and damage an individual’s life. One of the most significant advantages to studying the Books King Solomon wrote is that he not only displayed Wisdom in matters of love or leadership, but he also displayed Wisdom concerning the management of money.
For a clearer perspective on this Passage, let me offer this Verse in the KJV, “He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.” The nuance of the language in this version gives us a viewpoint that the NLT may omit.
Greed may indeed introduce a damaging dynamic to the family structure, but that is not the whole story here. The insatiable hunger for material possessions can have a far wider-reaching effect than on just the individual displaying it. It can bring harm and even destruction to all those close to its impact.
As we look at the influence of Greed on today’s society, it may be challenging to assess its impact due to its prevalence in everyday life. Everywhere we look, especially in our Capitalist culture, the voracious and self-indulgent desire for more permeates our consciousness.
Whether it’s TV, social media, radio ads, or just a simple conversation with co-workers, we can’t seem ever to get away from the persistent, invasive, and insidious hand of Greed. We are always expected to have what the next person has, or there’s no way we can possibly be happy.
Living beyond our means has become a spectator sport, and “keeping up with the Jones’s” is no longer even acceptable. We must outdo and outspend them at every turn, or we are considered failures. Credit has become so commonplace that dying in debt isn’t even regarded as unusual anymore.
All you have to do to see how prevalent it has become is look at our issues in this country with student debt. To get ahead, people are willing to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars of financial liability without any sure means of repayment in the hope that their degree will net them a career that will allow them to climb out of their ever-mounting obligations.
So many people have defaulted on their responsibilities that even those in high-paying positions can often not repay their loans. Because of this, the government is considering erasing much of this debt to alleviate the burdens from cash-strapped borrowers. That is the epitome of a broken system! But that is not the worst of it.
Even those who run the country are caught up in the insidious labyrinth of Greed. I don’t need to remind you about the supposed public interest and political action groups that have their hands in the pockets of nearly every politician in the country. That’s not to mention the handful of multi-billionaires that seem actually to run things here.
It doesn’t matter where you look, from congress and big business to the street corners and even our own homes; Greed is everywhere. But even as pervasive as it has become, Today’s Passage clarifies that it is no less imperiling than it was when King Solomon wrote this Verse.
Here is the bottom line as it comes to Greed. The end of lust is sin, and the end of sin is death! It doesn’t matter what kind of lust we are talking about; the conclusion is the same.
But as always, in his vast Wisdom, the writer gives us the opposite perspective here as well. We see the corrupting effects of Greed every day, but if we look, we can also see the positive characteristics of Self-Denial.
Ask yourself this, what do you really need to be happy? Is it a big house or a fast car? I mean, how many rooms can you use at one time anyway? What is truly necessary for one to be content? The issue is that once you have the ability to get more, nothing will ever satisfy you.
If we can be content in Christ and what He can Provide for us, we immediately shuck off the corrupting effects of Greed. When we see that all that the world considers essential is actually an avenue for the enemy to influence us, we realize that material gain is only a subterfuge for sin.
Minimalism, or letting go of the things you do not truly need, can help get you closer to perfection because it allows you to take a clear view of what God wants for you without all of the distracting influences. The enemy wants you preoccupied with anything that takes your attention away from Christ. The question is, are you going to fall for the deception?
Have a Thought-Provoking Thursday and Remember, Only What You Do For Christ Will Last!