Talking Back to Greed

The love of money is sometimes thought to be reserved for the wealthy.  The ol' Scrooge trope.  But in fact, every human being is faced with temptations to greed, for a number of reasons.  Everyone seems to know that money can't buy happiness, but then most people live as though it does!  That contradiction is an excellent example of the spiritual nature of this struggle.  

So our BATTLE PLAN is to talk back to greed with scripture!  This week's scripture is 1 Timothy 6:6-16.  

Studies have shown that Americans are exposed to thousands of advertisements per day!  That sounds unlikely but the study includes not only the obvious, like TV commercials, but any kind of branding, signage, etc. that presents people with options to "have" something that they might consider would make their life better than it is at present.  For example, have you ever been driving and seen a nicer car and thought "I'd love to test drive that."  Or seen a billboard and thought, "That might do the trick."  These aren't evil!  But when "stuff" becomes a "love" (1 Tim. 6:10) and not just a means of survival and contentment, then we are walking the tempting line of greed.

A great thought experiment is to ask yourself (or in a group): What would you do with $10 million? But don't just talk about purchases or investments.  Let the thought experiment work itself out in real-life scenarios.  How quickly would that money be spent, and that which was acquired start to require more money for maintenance?

Howard Hughes is a tragic example of how the acquisition of wealth does not have the power to redeem.  When Hughes died in 1976, no one noticeably grieved.  In fact, a Time magazine article recounted that the only recognition he received was in his casinos, which gave one minute of silence.  When the silence was over, the article quoted a casino employee: "Okay, roll the dice; he's had his minute."

The fact is that there are things more valuable than money, like time.  Hughes was the richest man in America at the time, but he ended up having only one minute.  

The good news is that we can talk back by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We can not only resist the temptation to greed, but we can pursue greater things.  Don't stop your reading of today's scripture at verse 10 -- continue from verse 11-16!  "Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness.  Fight the food fight of the faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called..."

Reflect (honestly, not with self-judgment.  This is not a moral lesson, but rather an opportunity to be real with God):
- What financial concerns do you have at present?  

- What are you hoping money will do for you?

- How does the idea of scarcity create fear in you?

Bring these concerns to the Lord, for whom money is not a challenge.  Ask the living God to reset your mind and heart on his all-sufficiency.  Ask God to provide your daily bread and cultivate in your heart contentment in all things.  God loves you and is faithful.

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