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Is greed good or bad

QUESTION: Is greed good or bad? Isn’t just a sign of ambition?


How do our ambitions become greed? Is greed good or bad? Healthy ambitions arise from a desire to provide for ourselves, our families, and those who are less fortunate (2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 5:8; Ephesians 4:28). Greed appears when we misdirect our ambitions and desires. The Bible makes a distinction between noble ambition and selfish ambition. It was Paul’s desire (ambition) to reach the world with the Good News about Jesus Christ (Romans 15:20). By making it our ambition to establish worthy work objectives, we live humble lives deserving of respect (1 Thessalonians 4:11–12). In contrast, selfish ambition has its roots in greed, a destructive desire to possess an abundance of anything for oneself.

Can those who are wealthy avoid greed? Any grasping after riches leads to temptation, a trap, and ultimately ruin and destruction (1 Timothy 6:9–10). Note that it is the love of money, not money itself that creates evil in our lives. Money itself has no power, but we give it all the power it has. Like our automobiles, we must determine who is in control and how its use influences our behavior. Any earthly possession, great or small, cannot guarantee true peace or security (Psalm 49:6–12). Through His son, Jesus Christ, God teaches us about the temptations associated with wealth:
  • The Rich Fool (Luke 12:13–21)
  • The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–16)
  • The Shrewd Manager (Luke 16:1–9)
  • The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31)
  • The Rich Man (Luke 18:18–24)
How does greed affect our perception of our future? When we face layoffs, termination of benefits, or any reduction in our finances, it’s easy to fear the worst. By giving money the power to determine our future, we worry about making mistakes, losing our money, running out of it, or being taken advantage of. Tony B., age 44, over the last two decades collected around $3.6 million in stock and options. Taxes have consumed 40 percent of his “nest egg” reducing the figure down to $2.2 million. Unable to live off his salary, he moved his family of four into a $750,000 home. But the cost of remodeling ran $350,000. Tony now works as hard as ever...more than 70 hours a week. Tony’s wife, Catherine laments, “Poor Tony, he’ll never be able to retire.”1

Whether you are wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between, your perception of the future can be worry-free. Matthew 6:25–33 reminds us of the natural process that God established by which He cares for all His Creation. When we place our trust in God’s unconditional love, our future rests on a firm foundation (1 Timothy 6:17–19).

Greed - Learn More!

WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus

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