1999 James A. Fowler
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I. Some Biblical references to greed.
Ps. 10:3 - "the greedy man curses
and spurns God"
Prov. 11:6 - "the treacherous are
caught by their own greed"
Jere. 6:13; 8:10 - "everyone is
greedy for gain"
Lk. 12:15 - "be on guard against
every form of greed; life is not in possessions"
Eph. 4:9 - "Gentiles...practice
every kind of impurity with greediness"
I Thess. 2:5 - "we did not come
with pretext for greed"
I Tim. 3:8 - (deacons) "not fond
of sordid gain" (cf. Titus 1:7)
II Peter 2:3 - (false prophets) "in
their greed they will exploit you with false words"
II Peter 2:14 - (false prophets) "have
hearts trained in greed"
II. Defining and describing greed.
A. Greed is inordinate desire to acquire
1. lust and envy
- James 4:2
- Exod. 20:17; Rom. 7:7,8; I Cor. 5:11
3. selfish immoderation
of desires - "Me-ism"
of the "flesh"
B. Greed is sin - contrary to character
1. Listed in
the Bible with the gravest of sins - Mark 7:22; Rom. 1:29; I
Cor. 6:10; Eph. 5:3
2. Roman Catholicism
identified as one of seven "deadly sins"
C. Greed involves the "personal
aspiration" of the "lust of the eyes" (I Jn. 2:16)
D. Greed is related to materialism
1. living for
possessions - Lk. 12:15
2. get rich quick
- I Tim. 6:9
3. love of money
- I Tim. 6:10
- "How much is enough? More than I presently have."
E. Greed is idolatry - Eph. 5:5; Col.
III. Practical expressions of greed.
There may be greed if you:
...keep "wish lists" of desired
objects to purchase.
...can't say "no" when offered
money to do a job.
...are always seeking ways to make more
...feel resentment when someone acquires
what you would like to have
...have fallen for several "get
rich quick" schemes. ...joined a multi-level marketing?
...are disturbed after losing a relatively small amount of money.
...become perturbed when you purchase an item and find it cheaper
...feel good and find relief in going shopping.
...would rather have a high paying job than one which is interesting
...despise paying taxes and have sympathy for those who find
ways to avoid such.
...feel uneasy around people who are wealthier than you.
...make disparaging remarks about people who are rich.
...engage in the "one-up-man-ship" of topping another's
accounts of acquisitions.
...go to an "all you can eat" buffet and feel obliged
to eat as much as possible to get
your money's worth.
...give something wanting to be properly credited or reciprocated.
...drive through neighborhoods with exclusive homes yearning
to live in such.
...ponder how much it is going to cost when a family member gets
...feel imposed upon when one of your children asks for money
to buy something.
...insist on controlling the family finances and the checkbook.
...argue with your mate about how much they are spending on personal
...brag about the "bargains" you got, how "thrifty"
you are, or how little you paid for
...boast of how clever you were in getting the best of another
in a business deal.
IV. Solution to greed.
A. Deriving the character of God by faith.
B. God's character involves contentment. God lacks nothing, wants
Lk. 3:14 - "be content with your wages"
Phil. 4:11 - "content in whatever circumstances I am"
I Tim. 6:6 - "godliness is means of gain, accompanied by
I Tim. 6:8 - "food and covering, with these we shall be
Heb. 13:5 - "content with what you have"
C. We are to be fulfilled and satisfied in the abundance of Christ's
John 10:10 - "life more abundantly"