30 Jun Three ways to THINK about money to keep GREED away
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” - Luke 12:15
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “ I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” - Hebrews 13:5
“It is a sin to despise ones’ neighbor, but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy.” - Proverbs 14:21
“Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to THINK that wealth brings true happiness. - Ecclesiastes 5:10
God has given us minds that are creative, intellectual, and logical and HOW we think affects our actions and emotions. Our mind is powerful, and WHAT we think can make or break us. Psychologists believe that greed is addictive and can be like a drug affecting our mind and decisions.
Questions we can ask ourselves are…
Has God given us ideas, and qualities to produce wealth? If so, Why? What purpose does He have for our abundance?
Anxiety, pride, distress, and fear can create a need to want more. How can we get rid of this thought pattern that infiltrates our minds and actions to have an excess amount of possessions? We need to take every thought captive and replace them with thoughts that are true, right, and pure. Here are three thoughts that can get us started, so we will create a business of giving and not greed.
1. God owns everything
2. Fight for Contentment
3. Loving Others
God owns everything
Everything we own belongs to God (Deuteronomy 10:14). And we are to be good stewards of it (1 Timothy 6:17-19). If we could see Jesus as the CEO of our companies and us as the managers; we might run things a little differently. Our questions will be directed to Him first and foremost. What is His perspective about a decision? What direction does He see the company going? Does He want it to grow or stay small? After all, if everything belongs to Him, wouldn’t we want to ask Him how He wants us to steward what He has given us?
And what happens when we are successful? Do we shout our praises and puff up with pride? It can be tempting to boast about our accomplishments to act as if we can do it all by ourselves, but in reality, God gives us opportunities, gifts, and ideas. It is because of His grace that we can succeed. “You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you the power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deut. 8:18). Nebuchadnezzar had to learn this the hard way, but by God’s grace, he was able to understand all he possessed was because of God.
Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king who boasted of his wealth and power,
“Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” (Daniel 4:30). But God answered Nebuchadnezzar quickly by taking away his sanity for seven years. Only after God restored Nebuchadnezzar’s sanity, we see a change of heart. Nebuchadnezzar no longer boasted about his possessions but He glorified God (Daniel 4:34-37)
Fight for Contentment
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance, and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Many images, pictures, and messages of what people are doing, buying, and saying bombard social media. It can be overwhelming if your heart’s not in the right place. This plethora of information can make it challenging to be content with yourself, with your work, family, and even possessions. The display of so many lives can make you feel as if you need more and before you know it you want a new home, a new car, exotic vacations, a different job, live in the country, live in the city or both. You end up lost in other’s dreams and losing sight of your way and God’s plans for your life.
Discontentment can be a crutch that leaves you crippled for years. Some people have thousands of dollars and still, feel they need more, a bigger house or to live in a more prestigious neighborhood. When we cannot be content with what we have, it can lead us down a road that keeps our hearts from the will of God.
Fight for contentment and know how much God loves you. Be satisfied in HIM. So satisfied that it does not matter what you have or don’t have. A genuinely content person will be able to live a life like Philippians 4:11-13. It will be your love for God that will bless you to help the homeless, love on the orphans, provide for the widow, and reach the lost. You will be able to do all things because you know that, “…God will supply every need of yours according to his riches and glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Some basic guidelines to contentment to finding contentment are:
- Establish a reasonable standard of living
- Establish a habit of giving
- Establish priorities
- Develop a thankful attitude
- Reject a fearful spirit
- Seek God’s will
- Stand up to fear
- Trust God’s promises
“… Blessed is he who is generous to the poor.” Proverbs 14:21
There is something about giving. Once you begin, you don’t want to stop. It fills your heart with love for others. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” If you want to keep from greed, keep giving.
When we love others, we honor God (Proverbs 14:31). We will also be blessed (Proverbs 22:9). We are asked not to be lovers of money, but lovers of people. Our businesses do not need to be a builder of wealth for ourselves, but an opportunity for us to be rich in good deeds (1 Timothy 6:18). When we share our wealth, time, our hearts…we are loving others. Hearts that are focused on God, and people will make it harder for greed to creep into our thoughts and actions.
- Money can buy medicine, but not health.
- Money can buy a house, but not a home.
- Money can buy companionship, but not friends.
- Money can buy entertainment, but not happiness.
- Money can buy food, but not an appetite.
- Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.
- Money can buy a crucifix, but not a Savior.
- Money can buy the good life, but not eternal life.
Charles R. Swindoll, Strengthening Your Grip: Essentials in an Aimless World (Dallas: Word, 1982), 84–85.