The Walking Dead
This is part two of a three part blog & podcast series that discusses three toxic emotions from the heart that control your life. It’s based off the book, “Enemies of the Heart” by Andy Stanley (can be purchased here) . The blog is a condensed version of the podcast — which comes from a 318LIVE series I did in 2015. I encourage you to read each blog and listen to each podcast as both bring something fresh to the table.
Also if you no longer wish to receive emails after the series just reply unsubscribe as this is part of my regular email list!As outlined in the first blog, there are four toxic emotions that come from the heart, I’ll be covering three in this series. Each emotions stem from some sort of debt.
- Guilt — I owe you
- Anger — You owe me
- Greed — I owe me
- Jealousy — God owes me
Today I want to talk about greed. This emotion can be deceptive because on the outside it masquerades itself as responsibility. For instance, greedy people are typically great savers and good planners. This doesn’t mean all savers and planners are greedy, but this trait often shows up in greedy people.
More commonly though, if someone is controlled by greed you’ll find these qualities:
- They talk a lot about money
- They struggle to give to others, including the church
- They make people believe they have “just enough” to get by
- They always remember debt owed to them and won’t let you forget
- They always want more and are never content
For the record, greed isn’t an issue of money. It’s an issue of the heart.
The reason greed is so dangerous is because it values possessions over people — the opposite of the heart of the Father. Of course, no one would ever admit that, but it will display itself in your actions.
We see this in John 11:3-6, “3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. 4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.”
Sacrifice is the litmus test of greed.
Mary poured out an expensive jar of perfume as a sign of what she valued most. Judas was outraged that the gift hadn’t benefited him in the least. Both would reap what was sown in their hearts. Mary would be the first to find Jesus alive after the resurrection. Judas would be the first to die after Jesus was betrayed.
Valuing possessions over people will always bring death and decay. (Luke 12:16-21)
If you’re looking for a good indicator of how selfless or selfish you are, Matthew 6:21 is a good place to start, “21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” So where does your money go? Because your heart will certainly follow.
Is your money invested in the kingdom of God and other people? Or is it mostly invested in your image, comfort, and future?
If you’ve found a trace of greed in your heart that’s okay, but now it’s time to start the process of dealing with it. So what’s the answer to the greed in our lives? Generosity.
Being generous towards God and others breaks the power of greed. Of course we need to pair this with prayer and repentance, but giving to God and others on a regular basis will free you from the greed in your heart.