Greed & Idolatry || My Temptations
Hello and welcome back to the blog!
We are officially kicking off our normal routine with today's Sunday Series post! I wanted to return to a "heart" related topic, keeping with our typical Sunday Series theme, so today, we will be discussing the topic of GREED.
Now, I didn't realize this until very recently, but I believe that I have always struggled with greed.
I've always dealt with the temptation to want too much of a good thing, and to want it all to myself. Whether it has been food, relationships, possessions, or money; I always seem to struggle with wanting to keep good things all to myself. Essentially, I've failed in the category of generosity, and at the core, I've been extremely selfish.
Now, I do believe that when you dig into almost any sin, there you will find a rotten core of SELFISHNESS, and greed is no different.
As humans, we all struggle with our inherent selfishness. Selfishness pushes us towards pride, malice, envy, greed, anger, lust, foolishness, and all SORTS of hideous sins. It causes us to value ourselves more than others AND God, and to pursue our own ends, often at the expense of others. We try so hard to put ourselves before others, yet at the end of the day, the ones hurt most by our sins are ourSELVES!
We commit sin in the name of selfish desire or gain, yet at the same time, we hurt ourselves and wreak havoc on our lives! So illogical, yet we all do it. But whoever said that our sins cause us to be rational?
As I've pondered my selfish nature, and by extension, my greedy nature, I've come to the conclusion that it springs from a fundamentally flawed belief that "life is better when you take the best things for yourself, AND we must survive and put our needs first because there isn't enough to go around."
"There isn't enough to go around."
There's limited friendships! Limited amounts of food! Limited amounts of money! And if you share with others, that means less for you, and really, when you get less resources, you get less happiness! So just don't share!
Just don't share!
It feels silly to write these thoughts down because they are so clearly false and ungodly, but what strikes me is the sentiment that less resources equals less happiness. So, by extension, we could argue that the selfish inner core within me is screaming that resources EQUAL happiness!
We know according to Scripture that God is the only one who can truly satisfy our souls. Jesus tells the woman at the well to drink the living water, from which she will never be thirsty again. That is the living water of God, of Jesus, that we might take part in His grace for us that we might never be thirsty or unsatisfied again.
True happiness is receiving grace from God and walking in step with Him, glimpsing HIs glory as we live in obedient worship to Him. Anything else is idolization: idolization of money, of time, of energy, of people, and of material goods and wealth.
When I feel tempted to be greedy and selfish, what I am really struggling with is the temptation to idolize myself and to idolize material goods, valuing them ABOVE the one who created them. Valuing the creation above the Creator! He is the one who has given me all this blessing in life; NOT ME! It's not mine to hoard! It's His for me to be generous with.
And as I'm identifying this idolatry within my life, God has also shown me what I've missed out on due to this sin.
Essentially, a refusal to be generous to others destroys any hope of true connection with others. It prevents me from communing with them in a vulnerable and intimate way! But it also prevents me from connecting with the Lord: worshiping myself, my own needs, and putting MYSELF before the needs of others puts a wedge between me and God.
And truthfully, this realization is not pleasant to share, but I believe that sometimes the best way to kill sin and temptation in our lives is to expose its ugly face to the world. To show other believers, in full accountability, what we are fighting against so that they may support and pray for us. Sin kept in secret only grows worse and more damaging. Exposing it kills its power in our lives and invites other Believers to support and pray for us. And that is truly a beautiful thing!
I am not a recovered greedy person; the instinct to hoard, protect, and think of myself first is strong within me still. But I do believe, that by the Holy Spirit's sanctifying work in my soul, by God's great grace, and by His beautiful written Word, I shall always be presented with a way out from my temptation and into His arms.
This year, I plan on continuing my study of Scripture on this topic, but also to challenge myself to put others first. I want to share more, to give more, and to worship no other god but the Most High God of Heaven and Earth.
It's not always easy, but it's always worth the heart-work, and that's why I love writing this Sunday Series.