15 “Then He said to them, ‘Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.’”
Luke 12:15 (NASB)
Beware. Another biblical warning where we could be skating on thin ice with dangerous consequences.
This can be a warning that sets off some defensiveness in us. “Quit messing with something as personal as finances!”
Check out the rest of Luke 12. Jesus continued with a story of a man who kept building bigger barns to hold all of his crops. He thought bigger barns gave him more security for the future.
His growing accumulation only met his physical and material needs, when Jesus said it was his soul that was in jeopardy. That is why Jesus made the point that life consists of more than our possessions.
Greed is more readily identified by what is in my heart than what is in my bank account. The Scriptures say that “what I want” is more dangerous than “what I have” (1 Timothy 6).
Greed is defined as an excessive desire for more of something than what I need. It may be dollars, clothes, cars, applause, power, recognition, etc. The danger is what that excessive desire does in our lives.
Do I want it in order to elevate myself above others? Do I pursue something to be recognized?
Do I need it for my significance or feeling of value? Am I chasing something to feel more secure?
Greed sidetracks us from eternal issues, from needing God. The ultimate purpose of greed is to become propped up enough so that I don’t need to either depend on God or wait on God.
In terms of finances, the Scriptures have much to say about responsibly saving, managing and giving of funds. Greed is an effort to remove the necessity of trusting God.
God wants us to be satisfied with Him, not with just stuff, or accomplishments or applause. The relentless pursuit of other stuff will rob us of the real satisfaction that God promises.