Often, greed opens the door to other sins and we find ourselves falling farther from God and what He has for our lives. We must be careful to protect our hearts and minds against greed and to practice contentment. Not only to live satisfied and thankful for what God has given us, but also in being generous in giving.
We need to understand that Paul wrote Colossians to average Christians in an average small-town church. He told them that they must put to death their sinful nature with regard to “greed, which amounts to idolatry” (Col. 3:5). If greed was a problem for them in that culture, then surely we who live in this prosperous nation, must come to grips with greed.
Greed whispers in our ear that we would be happier if we had more money, more things, and more power. It creates discontent and a growing desire to do whatever it takes to gain position and possessions. But the Bible commands us to trust in God, not in “uncertain riches” (1 Timothy 6:17). Paul told Timothy that the way to overcome greed is to flee from it and to “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness” (1 Timothy 6:11). And those “who are rich in this present age,” who have more than is needed, should “be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (vv.17-18).
Contentment and generosity are the opposite of greed (vv.6-8). As we learn to thank God for what we have and freely share it with others, we stop trying to fill the spiritual vacuum in our heart with things. And when we love Jesus more than money and possessions, we find that He is the greatest treasure of our lives. We discover that knowing Him is the source of genuine satisfaction. The best remedy for greed is generosity.
1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
Mathew 6:19-20 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Luke 12:15 “And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of greed, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
1 Corinthians 6:10 “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Proverbs 28:25 The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the LORD will prosper.”
1 Timothy 6:6-10 “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19 “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
Acts 20:35 “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”