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Tuesday June 19 – Greed defined

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. – 1 Timothy 6:10

Scripture reading: 1 Timothy 6

A 19th century author wrote about his successful life and the large amount of wealth he was able to amass for himself. His last penned words were his own epitaph: “I have coveted everything and taken pleasure in nothing.” Being a steward over the good gifts of God, including money and possessions, is a trust, an honour, an opportunity. Any amount of worship of those good things, though, will be ultimately disappointing and disastrous. Imagine the Preacher of Ecclesiastes on your right shoulder, reminding you, “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, a chasing after the wind.”

The stats don’t lie; North Americans are addicted to wanting more and wanting it now. We may be entirely content until someone tells us about their new car or we see an advertisement for a sweater or burger that we suddenly cannot do without. Greed is a cousin of envy because we compare ourselves with others and compete with our wallets and credit cards. We feel free, independent and in control. But we are easily ensnared.

John Piper once said, “The contentment that the heart should be getting from God – greed starts to get from something else.”

Suggestions for prayer

“Turn by heart from vanity, from dissatisfactions, from uncertainties of the present state, to an eternal interest in Christ.” – The Valley of Vision: The Infinite and the Finite

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mark Stewart serves the Burlington URC in Burlington, WA.

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