Scripture: Ecclesiastes 10-12, Psalm 94, Ephesians 5
Ephesians 5:5 You may be sure that no one who is immoral, indecent, or greedy (for greed is a form of idolatry) will ever receive a share in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
Greed is a form of idolatry.
I don’t think of myself as a greedy person, but this verse makes me step back and rethink that.
Idolatry is putting something before God. Webster defines it as excessive attachment or devotion to something. It’s letting something become more important to us than God. It is expecting something else to fulfill us.
Greed is simply wanting more. Webster defines it as an excessive (there is that word again) desire for more of something than is needed. It too is expecting something else to satisfy us. “If I just had that…”
Hence…greed is a form of idolatry.
In my case, greed is usually not about more money or more things. I just bought a used hot tub, and I’m excited to use it. I love being outdoors and praying in the tub, and I was happy to replace our broken 35 year old tub! But I know that it’s not the end all, it’s not going to satisfy or fulfill me. I’ve figured that out about things: I enjoy them, but I don’t idolize them. I’m not too attached.
But for me, greed can be more subtle. For example (small example), today I get to play golf. I care too much about my score. Is it wrong to want to play well? Of course not. It’s more fun to play well. But it’s wrong to want it so much (greed) that I get depressed if I don’t play well. I stay upset way too long afterwards. It’s greed and it’s idolatry—I’m looking to something other than Jesus to satisfy me. I can be greedy for golf success. Like the hot tub, I need to enjoy it, but not expect too much from it.
Another example, affirmation. Sometimes I care too much about what others think of me. I can be greedy for affirmation. This can keep me from doing the right thing, or saying the right thing. It’s a form of idolatry—looking to someone or something other than God to fulfill me.
Here’s my challenge for today: when I find myself getting upset, obsessed, or worried, identify the greed or idolatry. What do I want too much? What has become excessively important to me? Then recalibrate back to Jesus.
I’ll be a lot happier!
Prayer: Lord, thanks for the good challenge. Remind today to monitor these emotions and use them as a catalyst to recalibrate to You!