Subtle Greed

It is easy to identify greed as that which takes and take and takes…but what if we considered it through the lens of one who keeps and keeps and keeps? These are some off the cuff thoughts on the subject…I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

Please leave a comment and share this video to increase the conversation! Thanks. :)

**PS – please forgive the audio being out of sync…I will hopefully be able to correct that in future posts.

** Download the teaching I did on this at New Life Christian Church

17 thoughts on “Subtle Greed

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      I agree in most cases that is true…but I’m not sure that is a universal thing. Many of us have inherited resources (connections, money, possessions, etc.) that we did not personally “take”

      1. Though one may not have ‘personally’ taken anything he or she inherited nevertheless someone did ‘take and take and take’ for there to have been an inheritance at all.

  1. I was reminded of the saying attributed to St. Basil when you were discussing greed as a sin of omission rather than a sin of commission. Here’s a blog post about the saying I was thinking of, and an exerpt to whet your appetite:
    ” Now, someone who takes a man who is clothed and renders him naked would be termed a robber; but when someone fails to clothe the naked, while he is able to do this, is such a man deserving of any other appellation? The bread which you hold back belongs to the hungry; the coat, which you guard in your locked storage-chests, belongs to the naked; the footwear mouldering in your closet belongs to those without shoes. The silver that you keep hidden in a safe place belongs to the one in need. Thus, however many are those whom you could have provided for, so many are those whom you wrong.”

  2. Teri

    I struggle with guilt of being blessed. I have much more (in every aspect of my life) than I ever thought I could or deserve. I do give as much as I can but I also save for my kids’ future. If I sold everything and gave it all away we would all be dependant on others. How do I find balance in giving and saving? The needy people out in the world are so numerous it seams impossible to help them all.

    1. Great questions. It is a complicated struggle that I believe should be navigated NOT with guilt but rather with an excitement of ‘how much more.’

      How much more can I do for my fellow sojourner. This is a beautiful question that motivates us to the good.

      When we feel guilty about our ‘blessings’ we, in some way, say to the LORD that He didn’t know what He was doing by blessing us.

      So, I encourage you to celebrate that G_d has entrusted you with much. I bless G_d that you are a generous person. Remember, to have much ≠ greed.

      1. Great response, Don. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12

      2. Generosity comes not just from the wallet, but from the heart. By all means, give responsibly from your abundance – but also give from where you will make the most connection, which is often messy and uncomfortable … but amazing.

        Perhaps G-d allows both propserity and poverty so the meeting of the two can be life-changing for both.

  3. Good stuff here. I love how the early church treated one another. “And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”

    Being in awe of God is manifested by giving to others who have a need.

  4. One more and then I promise to go back to my own sermon prep…

    “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”

    This is the caution written to the Laodiceans who were lukewarm in their love and devotion to Jesus. May the grace of God give us the ability to see ourselves as we actually are.

  5. Teri

    It’s a shame that we need welfare programs setup by the government at all. If we all helped each other like we are supposed to we could eliminate the dependence on it. It’s too bad that humankind can’t be trusted to do what is right. BUT, with postings like this maybe a shift in perspective will bring about change.

  6. I miss your teaching Don! Thanks for doing this.

    In college, I took a class called, “The Nature of Evil”. It was taught by a Jewish Rabbi, who I’m sure you would have loved. I think back on some of the things I heard about him at the time — that he brought kids to his house for Passover if they were too far from home or didn’t have someplace to go.

    Anyway, it was a great class and we had to do a group project at the end of the semester that defined evil during the Holocaust. The group that I was in was the only one that used this passive/active position. We said that not only were those that perpetrated the atrocities guilty of evil, but also those who knew something was happening and did nothing. The position created quite a stir in class (incidentally, our professor loved it) but that has stuck with me over the last 20 (!!!!) years. This teaching reminded me of it again.

  7. Kim Warner

    Wow….I love Matthew 25, but sure did see it in another way. I sometimes wonder when we don’t help or go to these broken people who Jesus is saying you did not help Me! How long these broken people have to wait for the next christian to help? Sometimes we get so caught up in the when we should help how we should help that we walk right by those WE SHOULD HELP! Also, charities are wonderful, but I will say I have seen them pick and choose who they should and should not help. Agendas and politics get in the way :( I always saw Matthew 25 as giving up everything and helping and always felt guilty about having more instead of feeling so blessed (like my mom does she is always thankful for being blessed and very generous) Thanks for a great talk and insight on greed wonderful and I’m praying you will do more???? Kim

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