You cannot afford to be greedy

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I was recently preaching about the dangers of greed.

About how possessions can possess us.

How we simply cannot afford to be greedy.

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And when I arrived home after worship, there on my doorstep, was a package containing a brand-new fly rod.


In case you are wondering: a) preachers are almost always preaching to themselves, and b) that new rod casts beautifully.

It is hard to be a follower of Jesus. Especially when it comes to wealth and possessions.

Jesus explains: “No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matthew 6:24).

Not only is greed a sin against God (in Colossians it is called idolatry) but it is also a sin against neighbor.

The Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote that greed: “is a sin directly against one’s neighbor, since one man cannot over-abound in external riches, without another man lacking them . . .”

The more you have the less there is to go around.

The problem for many of us, is that we think we can follow Jesus and still live like everyone else. We have swallowed the lies of a consumerist culture that worships wealth and possessions. And like the Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21) we pull down our barns and build bigger ones to house all of our stuff.

The idolatry of greed leads us to love and trust wealth and possessions more than we love and trust God, or neighbor.

But we don’t need bigger barns.

We need bigger hearts. Hearts full of generosity instead greed.

The truth is, we cannot afford to be greedy, because in the end, it will cost us everything.

~ Written by Rev. Jaff Harris, Pastor at First Baptist Church of Tryon