“Greed has driven the world crazy. And I think I’m lucky that I have a place over here that I can call home.”
There’s a popular event that happens every year. You may have heard of it. It’s the infamous Parade of Homes– the weekend extravaganza of touring houses that have been beautifully staged to sell.
And so it was, many years ago, that my husband and I ventured out for our first Parade of Homes experience…and our last.
It was the mansion on the hill that got to me. Situated on a lush, green golf course, overlooking beautiful Pikes Peak, my jaw dropped at the sight, (a bit of drool seeping from the corner of my mouth). The chiseled stone driveway led to a four-car garage, which led to a perfectly manicured walkway, which led to the heavy mahogany doors, which opened up to a fairy-tale castle.
And that’s when greed got the girl.
My mind started turning, my heart started beating, and my “want it now” inner-brat started throwing a huge fit.
I approached the realtor.
“How much?” I asked.
“One million–everything included,” she replied.
Then, she promptly walked away, probably due to the fact that I had a slightly crazed look in my eyes.
Where is my husband? I remember thinking.
When I found him in the Theater Room, admiring the television screen that covered the entire wall, I told him about the mere “one million–everything included” price. He just gave me his signature grin, which meant, “Um, let me think about that for a minute…NO.”
Greed has a sly way of creeping up on a person. Usually, it’s when we least expect it. And almost always, we have some sort of justification for it. At least that’s what happened to me.
But I’m not the only girl that greed got a hold of.
Remember Eve? Perfectly formed Eve was the first woman on earth. She had been placed in an absolute paradise, more beautiful than any luxury resort. She had total unity with her husband and with God. But the desires of her flesh, along with the temptations of the enemy, got the best of her.
Suddenly, the Garden of Eden wasn’t fulfilling enough. The fruit of the vine didn’t satisfy. Satan had opened her eyes to something…more.
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” (Genesis 3:6 NKJV)
Poor Eve. Her decision to do something out of greed left a legacy of sin for all generations to come! In contrast, if I had found a way to buy that dream house, my legacy would have been inevitable bankruptcy and perhaps a stint in the homeless shelter.
Yet greed, in any form, can be very destructive. And no matter the consequences –big or small– greed can quickly grow into an overgrown field of sin.
Has greed made an unwelcome appearance in your life? Perhaps, it has shown up in the form of desiring recognition, attention, or notoriety. Or, maybe it’s the common want for money and possessions. Greed can even exalt itself in the form of “nothing is ever good enough.”
So, how can we identify greed in our own lives and put a stop to its destructive path?
We need to memorize the definition.
Even the world describes greed as an intense and selfish desire for something.
In the Greek, it is described as covetousness, aggression, and desire for advantage. Pretty straightforward, huh?
That day, when I was coveting the house on the golf course, (and I don’t even play golf), I was intensely selfish with desire. I even felt a hint of aggression as I overheard someone else make a serious offer!
So, let’s not forget what greed is. It’s not pretty. And it’s not from God.
We need to recognize the source(s).
We sure like to blame every sinful thing on Satan, don’t we? But remember, Eve looked at the fruit of the tree and lusted after it. She saw that it was pleasing to the eye and good for food. She took and ate of it. Her craving exceeded the promptings from the enemy.
Yes, temptation comes from Satan and is very real. But it also comes from the evil desires within us. (James 1:14)
We need to be rude.
Now we are getting to the fun part!
We have full permission to be totally rude to the enemy of our souls.
We get to put our hand in his face and say “speak to the hand, mister.”
We are allowed to interrupt him every single time with words of truth in the name of Jesus!
We have God’s blessing to turn our backs on Satan and kick dust into his face while running away as fast as we can.
Let’s get rude! Let’s tune the evil guy out and say, “Oh no you didn’t!”
Rudeness will never feel so good.
We need to be grateful.
Ahh…the other “g” word in this saga.
Replacing greed with gratefulness is a true act of faith. We may not feel grateful, but when we choose it, greed cannot take root.
You see, it’s not always the first sign of greed that traps us; it’s the hanging around for too long, (gazing at the custom made cabinets and outdoor fireplace).
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”(Psalm 37:3-6 NKJV)
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