Greed and the Inner Man

Greed and the Inner Man

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry.” 

Col. 3:5

Walking in the Spirit:

When we walk in the Spirit; we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Our hearts will know God’s will, and we will exude a lifestyle that is peaceful and dependent on our Savior. Walking in the Spirit produces much fruit…beautiful fruit. A person walking in the Spirit will have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). They Will want to meet the needs of those around them. They Will be unselfish…giving. They Will follow Jesus and His commandments.

“And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of greed, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Luke 12: 15

Greed begins with the inner self. It taints our spiritual connection with God putting a false idol in place of a true God. Greed can arise from selfish ambition, pride, covetousness, and fear. It can lead to a path of destruction and decay. How can we keep ourselves free from Greed? We have to be aware of the grip of Greed. It can taint our very soul, creating a lack of spiritual discernment and direction. Anybody can be greedy, the rich or the poor. Our greediness is not in our wealth but in our desire to want more and more and more, and the willingness to step on others to get it. This is an ethical problem, a moral issue, a spiritual tumor. If not removed from our lives, it can create many sinful acts and thoughts. We are in danger of spiritual ruin if we begin to trust in our wealth and not the Lord.

If we are walking in the Spirit, we will be content with what we have. We will be thankful for the many blessings that surround us no matter what others possess.

“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”

1 John 2:16

If we are walking in the Spirit; Greed will not have a grip on us. It will not be able to disguise itself in luxury that is luring to the eyes, it’s flashy gold and silver will not coerce us to become the enemy of individuals. The alluring, fascination with wanting more will be repulsive to our inner being. But if we fall prey to its tempting devices; We will soon find that our hearts are far from God.

Greed: Fulfilling the flesh

There’s a character in Tolkien’s book Lord of the Rings, his name is Smeagol, and he is a good representation of how Greed can affect us spiritually and physically. Smeagol, a hobbit, who lives in a small friendly village called the Shire, is good-natured and kind. Where he lives is beautiful and safe. The sun is bright and delicate flowers accent this peaceful village. Life is good at the Shire, but one day Smeagol discovers a ring. Unknown to the small little hobbit, the ring possesses an insidious power. A power so great that Smeagol fights and murders his friend. This small, round ring has taken over Smeagol’s mind, so much that He calls it, his “precious.” Obsessed with the ring, Smeagol soon withdraws from his community to live in the debts of the earth. He becomes a slimy, vindictive, jealous creature. All because of “his precious.” Greed had overtaken Smeagol, its power made him paranoid, and because of this, the ring becomes his undoing. 

Greed can have a similar power over people as the ring had over Smeagol. Kind men and women spirits become tainted, hearts blackened, desires shifted all because they want more. Greed will make people unrecognizable. People have killed, lied, manipulated others all for the love of money.

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

1 Timothy 6:10

The love of money takes you away from God. It creates in the human soul a response that is not loving toward others. Luxury becomes more important than family members. A business grows more important than employees. It stirs up strife, fear, pride, and covetousness. Greed keeps us from having a spirit-filled life.

“We can live a life that is Spirit-filled by obeying the commands of God. We can do this with our wealth, no matter how much you possess, by giving to others. We can give out of our abundance, being great stewards of what God has given. Our richness is to be in doing good deeds.”

1 Timothy 6:17-18

How to flee from Greed?

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, a man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.” 

1 Timothy 6:10-11

How do we flee from Greed?:

By pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Pursue the things of God. Walk in the Spirit and not the flesh.

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Don't love money, love God, and love people.

Ecclesiastes 5:10

Contentment and generosity can annihilate the Spirit of Greed. When power and positions become the main focus… run from these desires as Joseph ran from Potifer’s wife.  | Hebrews 13:5

“Whosoever shall seek to gain his life shall lose it: but whosoever shall lose ‘his life shall preserve it.”

Luke 17:33

Greed deceives us to believe that the more we have, the happier we will be. It gives us a false sense of power and removes from us the real joy of living. Let us seek after the things of God and not the things of this world. Let us live a spirit-filled life, not a life of selfish-ambition and Greed.