How Greed Steals A Person’s Life
Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money;
it robs them of life.
Proverbs 1:19 (NLT)
It robs them of life— Greed steals a person’s life. A greedy man is in effect, and in the sight of God, a murderer; he wishes to get all the gain that can accumulate to any or all who are in the same business that he follows—no matter to him how many families starve in consequence.
How tragic that the death of other people is sought-after by evil men and women because of the desire for possessions. They are greedy to take the life of another, not realizing they are actually destroying their own lives. This is the very case with him who sets up shop after shop in different parts of the same town or neighborhood, in which he carries on the same business, and endeavors to undersell others in the same trade, that he may get all into his own hand. They endeavor to ambush people and end up being ambushed themselves.
King Ahab and Jezebel are examples of people who had greed for the slaughter of another person in order to gain their spoils. They coveted the lush vineyards of a man named Naboth. Ahab’s greed for these vineyards motivated him to destroy Naboth. A plan was conceived to falsely accuse Naboth of blasphemy. Two men were hired to accuse Naboth publicly. The plan worked and the people stoned Naboth to death and the king got the vineyard (1 Kings 21). He also got caught. Later on, both Ahab and Jezebel suffered violent deaths.
This is the fate of those who are greedy for gain. It is in losing our lives that we really find life (Matthew 16:25). If we seek first the kingdom of God, the Lord will add all the things we need to our lives (Matthew 6:33).
1 Timothy 6:10 says,
“For the love of money—and what it can buy—is the root of all sorts of evil. Some already have wandered away from the true faith because they craved what it had to offer; but when reaching for the prize, they found their hands and hearts pierced with many sorrows.”
We see here the evil of materialism. It is not said, they that are rich, but they will be rich; who place their happiness in wealth, and are eager and determined in the pursuit. Those that are such, give to Satan the opportunity of tempting them, leading them to use dishonest means, and other bad practices, to add to their gains. Also, leading into so many employments, and such a hurry of business, as leave no time or inclination for spiritual religion, leading to link that draw into sin and stupidity.
What sins will not men be drawn into by the love of money! People may have money, and yet not love it; but if they love it, this will push them on to all evil. Every sort of wickedness and vice, in one-way or another, grows from the love of money. We cannot look around without perceiving many proofs of this, especially in a day of outward prosperity, great expenses, and loose profession.
Covetousness (Greediness, Materialism, Envy) is idolatry (Colossians 3:5). It is putting what money can provide ahead of our trust in and worship of God. It is only when we covet (desire, want, crave) money ahead of God that it becomes wrong.
Notice that those with this “love-of-money” attitude pierce themselves through with many sorrows. No one does this to them. They are the ones who hurt themselves when they lust for money and what it can do.
People often blame the economy or their lack of education or prejudice against them as the problem. But the real problem is the lust for more things and their lack of contentment with what they have.
Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus in an effort to tempt Him to sin (Matthew 4:6); however, he misused it. Likewise, a misapplication of this scripture has been used by the devil to convince many people that money is evil. This verse clearly says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Many people who have little or no money commit this sin constantly. Likewise, some people with great wealth aren’t guilty of it at all. The amount of money people have is not the issue. It’s the love or lust for money and what it can provide that the Scripture is warning against.
People don’t love money. It’s not little pieces of colored paper or stamped coins that people lust after. They love what money can do for them. They either love the things that money can buy them or they love the power, influence, and security that money provides them. When this verse says that the love of money is the root of all evil, it is saying that this lust for what money can do for self is the root of all evil. It’s this lust for self that money indulges that is the root of all evil.
Father, I will not forget my provider. I do not look to riches as my source of supply, nor do I give them my devotion. I do not love money. I love You. Money can pass from this earth for all I care. I will not covet after it or give it undue allegiance. You are the only provider that I trust, Father. You alone have my unfailing devotion. I am content in You regardless of how much money I have. My profit is not for greed but for kingdom advancement. I would rather be homeless and penniless than to have all the riches in the world and be without You. I will not seek worldly prosperity. My prosperity is kingdom prosperity, and it never fails and has no end.
I pray in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen!
DECLARATION OF FAITH
I will be content in all circumstances, knowing full well that God, my Father and provider, is always with me, and I am never without His provision.
If all that I have in this natural world is food and the clothing on my back, I will remain content and assured of my provision. I will not set my mind on money and riches – forgetting the fact that I have a heavenly Father who loves me and is caring for me – for I know that those who focus on money and riches fall into many temptations and are taken into many traps (get-rich quick schemes, etc.) – through such focus they enter into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.
Money isn’t worthy of such devotion. The love of it is the root of all kinds of evil. It is a denial of God as our true provider. Some people, who have set their focus and attention on gaining it, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. I refuse to go down with them.
As a man/woman of faith, I will flee from such misplaced allegiance and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. I fight the good fight of faith, taking hold of the eternal life to which I was called when I made my good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name, Amen!