Greed is one of the most perverse qualities that a human being can have and should be something we strive to overcome in ourselves if we hope to serve God in our lives. The bible has much to say about it. In Luke 11:39 Jesus told the pharisees that they strove to make themselves appear pure and holy on the outside but on the inside they were full of “greed and wickedness.” We should be careful this doesn’t characterize us as we seek to serve God.
We strive to appear to others as someone who is godly and righteous but, as we do so, we must be careful that it is not just an outward show that has no inward truth. We must strive to truly be pure and holy and not just appear so to others. We must fill ourselves with the Holy Spirit, which we come in contact with by studying the word of God. If we fill our hearts and minds with the things of God there will be no room for greed and wickedness. We must do this on a daily basis to overcome the whiles of the devil who is ever striving to engulf us in the sins of the world.
James 4:1-3 says: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” This desire for pleasure for its own sake will result in greed as we desire more and more of what we cannot fully satisfy. Satisfaction can only truly come by serving God and doing His will.
James goes on to say in verse 4: “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” That is where we can go wrong.
If we desire to be a friend of the world we seek for ourselves all the pleasure we can find until we fall down the rabbit hole, so to speak, of greed and covetousness. We cannot be a friend of God in this condition.
Instead, we must “put to death” our desires of the flesh and our love of the world and the things it has to offer and become alive unto Christ Jesus (Col 3:5-10). We must become spiritual beings living for the things of God and not fleshly, worldly beings who live for what they can get from this world with no hope or longing for the life to come.
Keeping our eye on the promise of eternal life to come will help keep us on the road to righteousness and godly living. We should keep this promise at the forefront of our minds to uplift us and encourage us as we travel that road.
James goes on to say in verse 8: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” That is the key to righteous living and what we should all strive to do. If we seek out God and seek to be close to Him, He will draw closer to us. The more effort we make to conform our lives to His will the closer He will be to us, so that, if we seek Him in the right way He will be found.
However, we must serve Him on His terms and not our own. He would have us conform our lives to His word and in so doing draw ourselves near to Him. Then, He will draw near to us and free us from the greed and sin that so characterizes this world we live in.
May God bless and keep you until next time.