Greed comes in many forms. It is a sin I struggle with from time to time. Just this morning, I confessed to Christ that my mind was falling into the temptation of greed. I repented, received forgiveness, and wrote this blog.
Once again, I find myself wanting more, and I am disappointed in that. How many times do we find ourselves wanting more? There are all kinds of examples, such as:
For ministry and marketplace leaders, who are always trying to achieve more, this is a great paradox. How do we choose what we have and yet strive for improvements? Where is the line that, once crossed, becomes greed? Let’s see what Scriptures have to say.
To address this paradox—the balance between striving for success and being content—there are several passages that offer insight and guidance, such as:
Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV): "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
This passage speaks to the idea of finding contentment in every situation, relying on the strength provided by faith in Christ.
1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NLT): "Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth. After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows."
This passage warns of the dangers of greed and the importance of finding contentment in what we have. This one really hits home for me as I contemplate starting to phase into semi-retirement.
Hebrews 13:5 (NIV): "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"
This emphasizes the importance of avoiding the love of money and finding contentment in God's steadfast presence. For me, the most precious thing I do every day is this one hour I spend with Christ. I find myself wanting more time with Him. This is a good “desire for more.”
Proverbs 16:8 (NLT): "Better to have little, with godliness, than to be rich and dishonest."
This proverb highlights the value of godliness and integrity over material wealth. The test for me is how I behave and the actions I take in secret, where only God knows my heart.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV): "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
This verse suggests that by prioritizing spiritual pursuits and righteousness, other needs will be met. I must always put Christ first. When we do this, every other question is answered for us. But there are many ways it can seem that we are putting Christ first, when that is not the case. That is why daily times with Christ for self-examination are critical to vibrant spiritual health.
It's not wrong to strive for improvement and success if we have a heart free from greed, anchored in contentment and trust in God's provision. As ministry and marketplace leaders, we need to keep a biblical perspective on finding the balance between ambition and contentment.
Let me know what you think about this.
Your aspiring servant,
November 29, 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.