Summary: Today we are going to look at the pillar of greed.
INTRO: A few years ago in Boston, the bodies of two elderly women were discovered in their small apartment. They had died a few days earlier. An autopsy revealed malnutrition was the cause of death. But hidden in the mattresses and sewn up in pillows and draperies was nearly $200,000 in cash! The ladies died because they didn’t use what they had to meet their daily need for food. In reality the bottom line was greed killed them.
The third pillar to an unhealthy relationship is greed.
But let me review for those that missed. We’ve been looking at relationships. We first looked at relationship builders, those qualities that will build a healthy relationship. Next we began a series entitled "Relationship Busters" about those qualities within that will destroy a relationship.
1st pillar was gossiping. We looked at what gossiping will do. : It will separate close friends.
: It will ignite fights and quarrels.
: It will bring division.
: It will change you at the very core of who you are.
2nd pillar of an unhealthy relationship is envy.
: Where you find envy, there you will find disorder and every evil practice.
: Envy rots the bones, our lives will fall apart if we don’t deal with envy. : No one can stand against envy.
Today we are going to look at the pillar of greed.
TITLE: Relationship Busters – Part 3
TEXT: 2 Kings 5:20-27
I. Greed creates the wrong way of life. Individuals who just focus on themselves and their world are literally walking the wrong way in life that eventually leads to destruction.
A. Background. Naaman was a commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was highly esteemed because the Lord was with him.
1.Problem: He had leprosy, a horrible disease—no one wanted to be around you if you had it. -No cure, but they hear about a prophet of God who could help.
2.So he goes to this prophet Elisha. He sends his servants to tell him what to do. Naaman does what he’s told and wham God heals him.
3.Namaan, so excited, goes back to the prophet’s house and offers him the multitude of treasures he brought.
: 10 talents of silver, 750 pounds of silver
: 6000 shekels of gold, 150 pounds of gold : 10 sets of clothing
* Naaman had a couple of million dollars of goods with him and he wanted to give it to Elisha. 4. The prophet refused to take any. So Naaman thanked him, took some dirt with him and left. a. Gehazi—I wonder what he thought as he saw his master turn down all these goods.
-"What are you doing, Elisha, don’t you realize how these could help us? These goods could make life so much easier."
-Gehazi is being seduced by riches, believing how much better life would be!
B. This false view of life can entrap the religious and non-religious. If you’re not careful you begin to focus on something else, and that something else becomes your way of life.
1. Illustrate. You want a new house. You begin to get focused on saving money, working another job. If you’re not careful you’ll become consumed, completely focused on obtaining this goal. Why? Because you want it. Greed entices you to start cutting corners on your taxes in order to generate more income. Maybe you withhold your tithe because you’re not saving enough. You begin to start taking money from your employer. (You rationalize they won’t miss it.) With your friends you are cheap, they’re always paying for you. You begin to take on a poverty spirit. (You evaluate everything by the cost of something.)
-Greed at this point is infecting everything.
2. In 1990 James Patter Patterson and Peter Kim wrote a book "The Day America Told the Truth".
-Out of 10 questions asked 2/3 of the respondents agreed they would be willing to do at least one, and some several of the deeds. What were these deeds that they would do for 2 million dollars?
: 25% would abandon their entire family : 25% would abandon their church
: 23% said they would become a prostitute for a week or more
: 16% said they would give up their American citizenship
: 16% said they would leave their spouse
: 10% said they would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free
: 7% said they would kill a stranger
: 6% said they would change their race
: 4% would have a sex change operation
: 3% would put their children up for adoption
3.American psychologist Eric Fromm said, "Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction."
4.Collin’s dictionary defines greed: excessive desire, especially for wealth or food. Summary: Greed can lead us down a path in life that is going in the wrong direction.