By Brenda Daniels
The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of greed is: Intense or excessive desire, especially for food or wealth.
Whilst the basic desire described in this definition is physical (food, possessions), I believe it doesn’t preclude desires for other things too, like desires for power, relationship happiness, or success. Desire is the underlying factor, whether for physical or non-physical things. In the book Killjoys, author on the chapter ‘Greed’, David Mathis, says that in the Bible greed can be equated to covetousness. The dictionary definition of covet is: yearn to possess (something, especially something belonging to another).
I can relate to coveting ‘relationship happiness’. Let me illustrate. For many years after I married I struggled to adapt to my new lifestyle. I had come from a home that prized routine. This routine gave me a great deal of comfort and security. But I had married a man whose job had virtually NO routine, from one day to the next, one month to the next, forever. And he was often away from home. Saturdays were particularly hard for me. I remember going out with my small children one Saturday and seeing EVERYONE else in happy family clumps. Husbands and wives, lovers, boyfriends and girlfriends – all holding hands, chatting, basically having a good time. Except me. Here I was alone, coping with two small children by myself when EVERYONE else was together. It was so unfair. I was miserable.
Focusing on what I didn’t have, coveting what I thought others did have, having an ‘excessive desire’ for what I lacked, had definitely robbed me of my joy. But more than ‘killing my own joy’ my comparison-induced misery had dishonoured the God I believed in. I had forgotten to be thankful to Him for what I did have. And most of all I had failed to trust in Him. To trust in the Jesus who, though he possessed everything, on the cross had made himself nothing so that I might have everything in him. Companionship, security, love, family.
Spend some time with your Freedom-in-Fellowship One-to-One partner discussing how you may have failed to trust in the God who is your ‘better possession’ by being greedy for what you do not have. Together meditate on Matthew 13:44 which says ‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.’
Think together about how you can trust more in Jesus, your greatest treasure.