July 24, 2007

A Deadly Sin: Greed

Matthew 6:19-24

A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish. Psalm 49:20


Greed can be difficult to discuss in a culture like my own. Greed can become the hidden motive in a free enterprise system, and it can rear its head when the conversation turns to profit margins and capital gains. But greed isn't just a new sin birthed by materialistic societies. Greed was obviously around in Bible times. That's why God has so much to say about it.

To understand what God is concerned about, we need to look at Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6. God knows where our hearts are by observing the things we pursue and the stuff we want to pile up and store away.

The point God is making is clear. Assessing my own heart condition is more difficult. I can give to charitable causes and help serve in food lines, and I can even do it well enough so that people will think I am generous. But the bottom line is still about my heart. I might be doing good deeds simply to try to cover up or justify a heart that really just wants more for me and isn't concerned much about the needs of others.

So, where is my heart? Or better yet--what do my calendar and checkbook say about where my heart is? What do my relationships say about my heart?

Greed is dangerous because it reveals a heart condition. If God doesn't have my heart, I may possess the world, but in the end, I own nothing of lasting value.

Lord, I admit that at times I don't want to face the truth about greed in my life. Help me direct my heart to find its real treasure in you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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