"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul."

Thursday, June 28, 2007


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." Luke 12:15

Greed is defined as a selfish excessive or uncontrolled desire for possession or pursuit of money, wealth, food, or other possessions at the expense of another person's welfare. It is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness. Greed is, like Lust and Gluttony, a sin of excess. However, Greed particularly applies to the acquisition of wealth. Thomas Aquinas wrote that Greed was "a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things." In Dante's Purgatory, the penitent were forced to kneel on hard stone and recite the examples of avarice and its opposing virtue. Avarice is a blanket term that can describe many other forms of sinful behaviour. These include disloyalty, deliberate betrayal, or treason, especially for personal gain, as when someone lets themselves be bribed. Scavenging and hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority are all actions that are inspired by greed. Such misdeeds include Simony, where the sinner feels the urge to make money by selling things within the confines of the church.

In a movie, a self-indulgent character quotes greed like this, "The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed -- for lack of a better word -- is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed -- you mark my words -- will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA." The world embraces this philosophy and puts it into action everyday. "Who would you step on to get ahead?", "Get rich or die trying.", "Nothing personal it's just business.", "He who has the most toys wins.", is their battle cries.

Greed consumes one's soul to the point that nothing else matters. In 2 Timothy 6:10 it says, "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." These griefs it talks about are loss of family, friends, co-workers, and all you hold dear left in the wake of the pursuit.

A fairy tale tells of greed like this of a dog who managed to steal a large steak from a butcher's shop, and ran into the woods to eat it in peace. On reaching the banks of the stream, he happened to see his face reflected in the water. He did not know that he was looking at himself. What he thought he saw was another dog, holding a large steak in its mouth.

Being a greedy dog, he jumped into the stream to snatch the other's dog meat. Of course, the reflection vanished and he could see no sign of dog or steak.

Only then did he realize that, when he barked to frighten the other, he had dropped his stolen meat. The current was swift and the steak was carried away. So, instead of having two steaks, the dog was left with nothing. Christ says in Mark 8:36, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

The temptation of Jesus in the wilderness took place with the dark one using greed as a weapon. Luke 4 reveals:

5And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
7If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
8And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

The dark one owns the greed of this world. Janwillem van de Wetering is quoted as saying,"Greed is a fat demon with a small mouth and whatever you feed it is never enough."

Greed will corrupt your soul. Once a tycoon of the industrial age was asked a profound question by a reporter. He asked, "How much money is enough?" He responded back with these words that sums it all up. "It's never enough." There is something perverse about more than enough. When we have more, it is never enough. There is a quote by an unknown author that says -"It is always somewhere out there, just out of reach. The more we acquire, the more elusive enough becomes." Greed is an insatiable appetite that is never satisfied. Only One can satisfy the soul to live for something besides yourself.

God will deal with those who take advantage of others in the quest for greed. Those who destroy other's lives in pursuit of profit at any cost. In James Chapter 5 the Word is quoted as saying -11Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
4Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
5Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

Jesus says in Luke 16:13, "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Who will you choose?


Lance Gargus

Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven


Carol said...

Excellent Lance!!! Very good lesson!

Could greed be an offshoot of selfishness? Let's say you want to share something with someone, you break the object in half and you give that other person the small piece. I would consider that selfishness but wouldn't that also be greed? I give that as an example because that is something that might be more likely to do and not think of because it's not as 'bad' as the other things you mentioned, yet it might be the same sin that we're overlooking.

I've actually caught myself doing that very thing but I stopped before doing it because I saw it as being selfish.

Carol said...

p.s. I love your graphic! All your graphics are neato!

Jeff Lee said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I added you under friends on my sidebar.

Sam Chan said...

Great post Lance!!

Indeed, many have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Such a love affair with material riches has ruined friendships, marriages, and even congregations. How sad.

Let's remember only Faith, Hope and Love really abides
Let's Acquire Wisdom and Live with Passion

Shinade said...

Excellent post Lance. I am blessed that I have never had a great desire for money or material things.

We very much live on faith and depend on The Lord to take care of all things. And so far I have not lacked for any need.

Thank you for contacting me about this post...I enjoyed it very much.

So many Christian leaders now a days focus on gaining material wealth. It is nice to hear the truth.

God Bless,

SuzyQ said...

This post is a real breath of fresh air :0)
Greed is a subject so often avoided by Christian leaders. We live in a culture saturated with greed. As you say greed is made out to be a virtue in the secular world.
A great post!

Luciana Cantanhede said...

In this world today it is difficult to find anyone who has not greed, but really we decide that we hand because greed does not lead to anything.
Great post, congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the post was very well written: just as it should be. For it was certainly of our Heavenly Father.

Hence: it is because of being allowed and enabled to recognize His work in and through you that made it a "no-brainer" to seek to send you some of what He has given me to say; and it is also for that very same reason that makes reading such a post so very hard on me. For there are times when my motivations come under severe attack.

No, I do not hope to become rich: even though I can see where there is potential for the accumulation of great wealth. For even at only a $1 per copy: millions upon millions could be collected. For what I have been given to say provides a clear answer unto what is commonly referred unto as being "the meaning of life". It also provides a clear answer for all of those times when it appears that the only thing that can be said is that "I'm sure God has His reasons".

Yes, I am ashamed to admit to having such thoughts. For I would feel greatly blessed if millions upon millions of copies were distributed: even without nary a penny being raised.

Nonetheless: here I am without any way of providing a dime for my family. For I have felt like I have had a fairly severe case of the flu for over 15 years now; and I am yet to find a doctor who can tell me what is wrong. Subsequently: since there is no medical diagnosis for my affliction, I have been unable obtain disability through Social Security so far; and even my case comes-up for another appeal in the next month or so (I hope) I have learned that the only thing that holding my breath usually gets me is a severe headache after I come back to.

Yes, our Heavenly Father has provided just enough to get by; and He has made it abundantly clear unto me why I have had to endure such suffering. For it is easy to talk about the goodness and mercy of the Lord when you are relatively healthy, with a loving family and a steady source of more than adequate income coming in; but it is really saying something to talk about even all of the horrors of this world being for the benefit of all concerned when you are at least 2 1/2 inches shorter than you were and now weight over 400 pounds and barely have enough energy to cover the 25 feet of distance between your bed and your chair in the living room.

Alas, perhaps I really have lost my mind; and that would certainly explain a lot. For who in their "right-mind" would want to waste their valuable time dealing with a raving lunatic when there would be nothing to gain???

P.S.: Just in case you have not been scared-off yet: I have included a copy of "The Refined Message Of The Cross". By the way: have you gotten around to reading Q&A yet???

TheNewBreed said...

hey lance, i've updated new post. hope you will like it !

TruthofmyKing said...

Great Post Lance. Unfortunately, the nation and the "time" in which we live are being driven by greed but fortunately for a few, true christians are walking and living sacrificies unto GOD and have no time for greed.

For the Truth of my King

Rob said...

Great post and blog.

Just curious… I wonder if you ever have the same frustration as I do? As a pastor of a large church, I have close to 1,000 readers a day on my blog, but still have a very low authority on Technorati. I’ve learned that this is because I don’t have enough links to my site.

Why does this matter? Because I want to start reaching out to people beyond just the church, and to do that I need to get this blog up higher on the search engines.

I was wondering if you would be willing to put in a link exchange with me at www.robsingleton.net. If so, please send me an email to robtherev@gmail.com showing me where you’ve linked it and I will do the same.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Pastor Rob Singleton

Enemy of the Republic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Enemy of the Republic said...

Me again--I actually am not sure what greed is. We all have needs to be met, yet it is in key circumstances in which we are forced to do without that we find we require relatively little for survival. My husband served in the military and talked often about being in the field. Sure, they come back to base stinky (providing this isn't combat), but they know that almost everything is a luxury. But the problem of doing without is this: what happens when you get your chance to have more? Jesus faced that when Satan offered him the kingdoms of the world after he had suffered in the wilderness. Jesus knew the source of the temptation, but do we? When you've been without love as a child, can you become greedy about getting your emotional needs met? If so, when does it become sin? I'm not asking you to answer--all of this is rhetorical and shows how I tend to approach scripture.

Channelofhealing said...

God is good all the time Lance, wonderful post this is a topic that we christians should watch out for daily in our lives.

God bless