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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.


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