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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Am I greedy?

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CofG
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Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 381
Cambodia

 Am I greedy?

Covetousness from a Biblical perspective is a desire and/or effort to obtain,  retain (save or hoard), or spend  earthly  money, wealth or possessions for personal use over and above our own present  need when there is present spiritual or physical "need" that could be met with such treasure instead.

Jesus said do not "store up" treasure on earth ( creating an abundance for personal use now or in the future) but rather store up treasure in heaven ( spending now on meeting the present need of others).   Jesus defined "need" very carefully as food, clothing and perhaps shelter.  

We absolutely do not like this definition.    It runs counter to everything we read or that is said in our culture and even in Christian counseling on money.      However,  this definition of covetousness was the working definition for Jesus in His teaching and in His life and the life of His would be and actual followers,    especially in the Gospel of Luke.  Think of the rich young ruler,  Zaccheus,   the man with many barns, the rich man dressed in purple,  the woes of the Mount Olivet sermon,  the fruits of repentance taught by John the Baptist, the teaching of John in 1 John 3 on true brotherly love.     

It's all very clear if we want to understand it.  

The Holy Spirit has said that covetousness is as the sin of idolatry.   

Do not store up treasures on earth is pretty clear.   Do store up treasures in heaven is equally clear.  Do not can rightly be interpreted as "Do Not".    What  is not clear is why we, ( including me), refuse to hear.  

Maybe we could debate what all the teachings on "treasures on earth"  do not mean.    Perhaps it is worthwhile, however,  that we focus on what it does mean.

I realize this is probably the most unwanted topic for any of us to deal with. First, because as a Biblical subject it is old, tired and nagging. Second, it is a subject that has dramatic immediate impact on our lives that can't be easily shooed away. Finally, and more importantly, because it requires us to deal with sacrifice and while we all are seemingly willing to embrace involuntary personal suffering for Christ's sake (if it is forced on us), actually embracing voluntary sacrifice for His sake is so difficult.

Why is it important though? Because the idolater (covetous) shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.


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Robert

 2019/10/28 18:37Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
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 Re: Am I greedy?

//Covetousness from a Biblical perspective is a desire and/or effort to obtain, retain (save or hoard), or spend earthly money, wealth or possessions for personal use over and above our own present need when there is present spiritual or physical "need" that could be met with such treasure instead.//

When did Jesus tell Lazarus and his family to liquidate their assets?

Where do you find that definition as you have stated it?

What you seem to be saying, in essence, is that we are to live in grass huts and eat bread and water (as long as it’s cheap grass and cheap bread and cheap water) and everything else goes to the needy. After all Jesus said the poor will always be with us. Even if we gave 99% of our income the poor will be with us.


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Todd

 2019/10/28 21:15Profile
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 Re:

Not sure about your question concerning Lazarus.

And he said to them, "Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man produced plentifully,
and he thought to himself, 'What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?'
And he said, 'I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry."'
But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'
So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God." - Luke 12:15-21


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Robert

 2019/10/28 21:49Profile
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 Re:

Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
And the crowds asked him, "What then shall we do?"
And he answered them, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise Luke 3:9-12

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. - 1 John 3:16-18


Todd, Instead of telling what verses can’t possibly mean, please help me understand what these verses do mean. I struggle with responding to “it can’t mean this”. To be honest, a significant part of the time it seems you spend more time fighting what verses can’t possibly mean. I’m asking for a different interpretation than the one I’m seeing rather than just kill shots.

The verses speak plainly or so it seems to me.


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Robert

 2019/10/28 22:01Profile
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 Re: Am I greedy?

Let me make this clear NO!! YOU ARE NOT GREEDY!!!

Do not listen to the lies of the devil.

You know by now that no law can ever justify you, make you holy, make you pure, make you righteous or put you in union with God.

Christ did what the law could NEVER do!!! Christ Himself now lives inside you. Just stand firm in that.


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Vern

 2019/10/29 4:36Profile
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1230
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Am I greedy?

Hahahaha!!!
Brother Robert it seems you may have struck a nerve ~

Indeed it is interesting just how quickly responses can be given which clearly miss the point of your inquiry... you are basically sayin “come let us reason together” and so far you get a...... No get yo hand off my money,! and a... you’re a law preachin devil ! 😂.

Brother Robert,
To your question, the short answer is.... YES!
The long answer is,...
And not only greedy but entitled to be so! (Or so we think)
You are correct, the biblical wealth is in the amount of scriptures that declare this very thing! While it’s also true that being poor in and of itself isn’t necessarily virtuous, the scriptures are clear that when a person is under control of the Holy Spirit, their objective will NOT be to amass personal wealth over the long term. The instances where the focus of a persons life was to amass personal wealth (it was the god of their hope) prior to meeting Christ always gets dealt with the same way,... confrontation! Tho because our Lord is meek and lowly, patient and humble... He addresses each person accordingly to provide them an opportunity to see themselves in the light of truth and repent. At least that’s what I found in scripture -
It’s a subject Jesus spoke about often and with a certain intent. In many ways, how we conclude this issue (money), informs and defines the life of the believer. Actually this issue has really always been about the heart and more than most any other issue, reveals the corruption.

In my understanding, the scriptures are indeed clear on this subject from beginning to end and from this issue forth many, if not all, troubles. The “one size fits all” part (for me) is in being led by the spirit. There are instances where the Lord will instruct to give sacrificially just as there are instances where the Lord blesses His children in a material way also. I have personally witnessed and have been subject to both. The marker (for me) is in either case, being made humble 😉. When the child of God receives and obeys a command from God, the result is always the same- victory over something by the Lords hand. To the child of God this almost always has a humbling effect,... so wether the Lord adds to or subtracts from the life of a follower, the results are the same:) Interestingly, when a person is led by the flesh, wether they pursue and amass earthly goods or give sacrificially... the result is the same - pride! they’re puffed up like a bullfrog. Just like a bullfrog they gotta let you know bbbuuuuurrrrrpptt all the “good” they did by “giving” and usually like to (conveniently) drop into the conversation the amount they gave if it serves to further puff themselves up and they are just as much the servants of their flesh as a person whom is greedy in a more traditional way.

In the end, it is a heart issue.... the scriptures are clear.

Brother Robert, I have a question that may seem out of sorts- have you ever wanted/intended on giving/helping someone and the Lord told you,
no ?

Thanks for introducing this topic for discussion.... if the Lord blesses it, it will be bountiful <\\\><


Edited to remove-


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Fletcher

 2019/10/29 8:07Profile
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 Re:

Hi Fletcher

The heart of Jesus was to be poor in so many ways so that others would have their needs met. The Lord delights to do mercy and walk justly. So do His children. The Macedonians gave themselves to the Lord and gave sacrificially with joy in spite of their poverty.

The easiest definition I know of love is to meet need, physical or spiritual. It’s a love issue, not a rich, poor, how much is enough, am I doing it right issue. The love of God is primarily sacrificial and that is what makes Jesus beautiful. We are called to be like Him not primarily because of command but rather because of who we are.as new creations. In the OT God told His children that there shall be no poor among them not because He would bless all materially in the same way, but rather because His Kingdom is one of sacrificial love. Mercy is discriminate at times among unbelievers as is clearly shown in the world but among the children of God there is absolutely no discrimination. We are called to give one tunic to one who has none even if it means we don’t have a spare for the future. A fullness of the Spirit produces such a heart. This is all clearly in Scripture.


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Robert

 2019/10/29 8:24Profile
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Joined: 2011/10/21
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 Re: ??

Brother Robert, I have a question that may seem out of sorts- have you ever wanted/intended on giving/helping someone and the Lord told you,
no ?


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Fletcher

 2019/10/29 9:51Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5339
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 Re:

Christ taught that one who would follow Him must forsake “all that he has” (Luke 14:33/ cf. Matt.13:44-46). The ceremonial law served as a foreshadowing of the Christian revelation. The latter teaches that all of God’s people, having been “bought with a price,” are not their own, but are owned lock, stock and barrel by Jesus Christ (1 Cor.6:19-20). All of the believer’s time and all of his possessions belong to God—a fact foreshadowed in ceremonial law by the requirement of giving Him a representative token of each (one day of his week, and one tenth of his possessions).

The New Testament teaches “stewardship” (Luke 12:42; 16:1ff; 19:12-13/ Matt.25:14/ Titus 1:7). The Christian is a “steward”, or “manager,” of God’s possessions. In coming to Christ, the repentant sinner surrenders everything to God, and claims ownership of nothing (Acts 4:32). From the moment of conversion, the believer becomes responsible for managing every asset (monetary or otherwise) in the interests of his Lord’s profit. Those seeking to preserve a share of their lives for themselves need not apply (Luke 9:23).

So this begs the question: what exactly is the steward’s responsibility? Simple: to do what the Master wants him to do.


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Todd

 2019/10/29 15:06Profile
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Joined: 2006/9/16
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 Re: Am I greedy?

Abraham was a VERY wealthy man by the standards of his day (God had blessed him in all things - Gen 24:1) yet in his immense prosperity he was called the friend of God.


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David Winter

 2019/10/29 16:36Profile





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