LEARNING TO BE CONTENT
17 “You shall not covet … anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17 (NIV)
“Greed (or avarice, cupidity, or covetousness) is the excessive desire for more than is needed or deserved, not for the greater good but for one’s own selfish interest, and at the detriment of others and society at large. Greed can be for anything, but is most commonly for food, money, possessions, power, fame, status, attention or admiration, and sex.” – Neel Burton
“Now, it so happens that our culture … places a high value on materialism and … greed. Our culture’s emphasis on greed is such that people have become immune to satisfaction. Having acquired one thing, they are immediately ready to desire the next thing that might suggest itself. Today, the object of desire is no longer satisfaction, but desire itself.” – Psychology Today Canada
9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:9 (NIV)
1. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF GREED?
4 Do not wear yourself out to get rich;
do not trust your own cleverness.
5 Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,
for they will surely sprout wings
and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Proverbs 23:4-5 (NIV)
11 As goods increase, so do those who consume them…. Ecclesiastes 5:11a (NIV)
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? … 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? … 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25, 27, 34 (NIV)
1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? James 4:1 (NIV)
10 Whoever loves money never has enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income.
This too is meaningless. Ecclesiastes 5:10 (NIV)
2. WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE TO GREED? CONTENTMENT.
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV)
19 … when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:19 (NIV)
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NIV)
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb,
and as everyone comes, so they depart.
They take nothing from their toil
that they can carry in their hands. Ecclesiastes 5:13-15 (NIV)
- Heavenly Gain.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)