I think Biggie Smalls said it best, ” Mo Money, mo’ problems.” This week we are going to take a closer look at Greed. Welcome to my series of the Deadly Seven. If you are new here, you can click here to get a list of all the ones we’ve covered so far.
Gimme, gimme, gimme. The words that parents do not like to hear. In fact, I’m sure that some of us even said that to ourselves when we see something that we feel that we must have.
We can define Greed as the following:
also known as avarice, cupidity, or covetousness, is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one’s self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. It is applied to a markedly high desire for and pursuit of wealth, status, and power. (source)
Just A Little More
Did you know that those of us who are moderately well off (have a decent paying job) and those who are very well off, always compare themselves with people are further along in life than they are? This means: instead of being happy with one television, and a car, we compare our lives with people who have two cars, and two televisions, and bigger houses. Unfortunately, we equate happiness with lifestyles.
Ultimately, with Greed, we are looking for temporary things (money, possessions etc.) to make us happy. We are looking for satisfaction in the things that surround us, when ultimately, they end up leaving us wanting more.
The Vices of Greed
Consumerism. Noticed how things are advertised these days? The iWatch commercial will again be used as an example. Here in this commercial, they have smooth voice explain the features of the watch, while the screen lures us in, slowly, seductively, on the journey. Nothing is done quick or fast, since that’s not seductive. At the end of the commercial, you’re left drooling over the watch by how it was explained. Consumerism is just like that. We are constantly lured, in, and begin to lust after the things that we think will make us happy. In the end, we just end up spending money to fill a void that is still there.
Living Beyond Our Means. Of course this is related to consumerism, where we want and want, but ultimately, our lifestyles become too expensive for us. We’re borrowing to keep up, because we have a fear of missing out on all the luxury items. Oh, and it’s okay to do it, because everyone is doing it.
Failure to Tithe. What does donating have anything to do with greed? Well, it goes back to keep it all to oneself. If you give to others then you won’t have. No one is saying that we have to tithe until we have nothing, that would be reckless–to put our families in danger, but think how helpful will be with our fellow human by tithe (or helping) those in need.
The opposite virtue to greed is generosity. We can be generous of spirit, and through wealth.
One of the best ways to help keep this in check is to:
- Live simply.
- Trust God.
- Give Generously.
I’m going to suspect that the first one–live simply–is something that’s hard to do. After all, what does it mean to live simply? Go back to time before television? Well, I don’t think that is what it means. I think to live simply means to have what you need, and no more. For instance, you can buy coffee, but does it have to be the one that’s brewed across the world that cost like $20 a cup? (Shows you how much I drink coffee), or will a simple cup of coffee be okay.
To discern this, I believe pride, will end up rearing its head: I deserve this expensive cup of coffee, but I hope you understand.
Once in a while is fine, we all treat ourselves, but what happen when the treat becomes an everyday thing?
What does “living simply” mean to you?