Summary: Many times Christians deal with the issue of greed without even being aware of it
Monopoly: Dealing with Greed
Series: Games of Life
October 16, 2011
We are continuing a series of messages: The Games of Life.
Greed has been called the plague of American society. The examples of greed in American society are almost limitless. Everything from televangelists keeping donations to corporate CEO’s lying about company income to keep investors. The problem of greed is not anything new. Greed is an age old problem that started in the Garden of Eden. Think about it, Eve become greedy for what she could not have in the forbidden fruit.
What are you willing to do for $10,000,000? Two-thirds of Americans polled would agree to at least one, some to several of the following:
Would abandon their entire family (25%)
Would abandon their church (25%)
Would give up their American citizenships (16%)
Would leave their spouses (16%)
Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free (10%)
Would kill a stranger (7%)
Would put their children up for adoption (3%)
James Patterson and Peter Kim, The Day America Told the Truth, 1991
The love of money is the root of all evil. The essence of greed is placing a priority more on the possessions than the provider. The moment that we lose sight of who is giving us our blessings, we start down the road toward greed.
Many wrongly assume that greed is the act of the wealthy but greed is not necessarily targeted just to those who are wealthy. Greed is the desire for more and more. Most people who play the lottery are at least, mildly impacted by greed. Greed can be about more than just money. Greed reveals itself in most sibling rivalry because children are fighting to get more of their parent’s attention. Greed is seen in the pursuit of the latest and greatest of everything. Greed is the pursuit of more and never being satisfied.
Greed was first seen in scripture in the Garden of Eden. Eve revealed her desire for more wisdom, so she could be like God. The problem is that Eve missed the fact that she was already like God. Achan desired some of the treasure from the plunder that God said to leave behind. The cost was defeat for Israel and death of his family. Greed is seen in David’s affair with Bathsheba. David saw her and would not stop until he got what he wanted. Nothing good comes from greed.
Greed acts like an addiction that can never be satisified. Greed makes us do things that we might not otherwise do. Greed makes us think in ways that are far from healthy. Greed forces our focus away from God and back on ourselves. Greed is just another form of selfishness.
Jesus gives us His perspective on the issue of greed through a simple parable. If you have your Bibles, please open them to Luke 12:13-21.
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." 14 Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15 Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." 16 And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17 He thought to himself, `What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' 18 "Then he said, `This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' 20 "But God said to him, `You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' 21 "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God." Luke 12:13-21
"The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.
Who is responsible for the good crop? The man may till the soil, gather seed and then sow the seed but there are multiple factors needed for the seed to grow. None of which is in the control of the man. Granted if the man sows nothing, he gains nothing but the result is out of his hands. God is the one who gives the good crop.
The word for good here is often applied to
Notice the focus of the man who is given the good crop.
I – Six times
What shall I do?
I have no place
This is what I’ll do