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Understanding the contrast between prosperity and greed when it comes to the love of money
Contrasting Prosperity with Greed
by Glen Becker
The clearest scripture on greed is 1 Timothy 6:9-10
(NIV): “People who want to get rich fall into
temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful
desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For
the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some
people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith
and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
Greed is the love of money. Many think that the Bible
says, “Money is the root of all evil,” but
it does not. The problem is not money, but the love
of money. Love is a heart thing; Jesus said in Matthew
6:33 (NIV) “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,
and all these things (food, clothing, etc.) will be
given to you as well.” He goes on to say that
you cannot serve both God and money.
God has no problem with wealth. Many of the heroes
of the faith in scripture were wealthy men. There is
nothing holy about being poor, nothing ungodly about
being rich. The key is the heart.
Prosperity is having all you need to do what God called
you to do. A prosperous man is content with what he
has, a greedy man never is. God wants you to be prosperous.
I am a prosperous man. For example, we have three drivers
in our household, and all three of us drive nice cars
that are less than three years old, two purchased new
and one was a top-of-the-line program car. I paid a
total of $34,000 for all three of them. I know un-prosperous
people who paid more than $34,000 for a single car,
yet who are not satisfied with it. Greed never is. Prosperity
is not having an expensive car; prosperity is having
the right car.
Greed and prosperity have nothing to do with income
or wealth. A person can be prosperous on a modest income;
greedy people can be poor or be millionaires. Greed
is a condition of the heart.
Johnny Carson, the former star of the Tonight Show,
got a divorce many years ago. His ex-wife publicly commented
on the proposed divorce settlement, “How can anyone
expect me to live on only $20,000 per month?”
Though she was offered a larger income than most of
us will ever earn, and though she did not have to work
for it, she was not a prosperous person. Greed was her
master and she was its slave.
If you have spent time in the prison of greed, you
can escape today. But do not think that Jesus will just
open the prison door so you can just stroll out to wander
around aimlessly. If you try, Greed will find you, grab
you and throw you back in. Instead, ask Jesus to free
you from the prison of Greed and lead you toward the
Kingdom of Heaven. Ask him to provide you everything
you need to do what he called you to do, and for the
grace to be content with what you have. That is prosperity.