Tristan Martin via Compfight
Greed is a practice almost universally condemned. In 2011, Occupy Wall Street rallied against “corporate greed.” In today’s political climate, the poor claim the rich are too greedy with their own money, while the rich claim that the poor are too greedy with money that isn’t their own.
What does the Bible say about greed? The Bible says that greed is idolatry, which is something serious enough to keep us from heaven (Colossians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
How can we tell if we are greedy? In Godonomics by Chad Hoving (see my review), Hovind shares four common types of greed. Use this as a tool to gauge the greediness of your heart.
The four different types of greed:
…Greed is like a termite. It’s out of sight but boring deep into our hearts. It doesn’t attract attention as it eats away at our ability to be generous. Jesus warned us to be on our guard, so we can assume we are already infested with greed. If you have trouble spotting it, here is what it looks like.
This type of greed tends to find a home in the heart of conscientious, disciplined, organized people. It preys on a person’s ability to diligently set aside savings, adding regularly to the total. Of course, this is something we should all be doing. However, greed in the life of a hoarder leads him to believe that he can’t be generous with his money until he has set aside enough money to ensure a comfortable retirement.
The hoarder is insecure about the future. His willingness to trust money rather than God with his future drives him to ignore the needs of other people. He feels his first responsibility is to amass enough assets to secure what he assumes will be a safe future. But a hoarder falls into the trap of using all his resources to benefit only one person: the hoarder.
This form of greed fits easy into the life of an impatient person. The overspender confuses needs with wants and, as a result, spends more than her income allows, thus leading to debt. She wants things now and is willing to use credit to avoid having to wait.
Greed feeds the competitive sense that it’s imperative to match the lifestyle of someone else. It drives you to spend and keep on spending as a way to show that you are equal to a neighbor, friend, coworker, or relative. This form of greed is closely aligned with envy.
But greed preys on everyone, no matter what their net-worth statement looks like. When you believe the lie that abundance comes from your possessions, you will find greed lurking in the shadows.Greed lies behind a feeling of entitlement, the sense that someone else owes you something. An entitled person believes a lie: “I don’t have the money for it, so somebody else ought to buy it for me. After all, I deserve to have it–and without having to work for it.” This face of greed always displays a lack of gratitude and often reveals anger. Entitlement sends people on a consuming binge. It’s easy to accept the mistaken idea that rich people are the greedy ones.
(excerpt from Chad Hovind in Godonomics, pg115-116)