What’s so hard about sharing?

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Greed! You know, it’s that very strong desire to acquire and retain wealth, power, or material possessions in huge quantities without concern for the welfare of other people. It can be thought of as a type of hoarding or selfishness.

Greed can cause one to think of herself in isolation from others. It could cause a person to think, “It’s all about me.” The global Coronavirus pandemic is a great time to check ourselves to see if we possess a spirit of greed or one of love. For instance, how are you dealing with the shortage of “essential” supplies? Are you concerned about the welfare of others or are you only concerned about yourself? Are you purchasing products to stockpile while others suffer lack?

The news media has reported that in some places, law enforcement officers stand guard to prevent people from buying in excess. Are they there because of you? Think about it. Greed reduces the spirit of generosity. During these trying, turbulent times, we become our neighbors’ keepers. Instead of sitting securely in our sealed houses without concern for others, we could show love.

Not only can greed affect our relationships with others, but it can take a toll on our character development. Greed can become addictive. Craving for things can be never ending, while at the same time, never satisfying. Greed can cause an individual to become a liar, manipulator, cheater or a person who takes extensive steps to obtain what she desires. It can cause one to make poor decisions in the process of attempting to satisfy personal desires.

The Bible records an account in Matthew 19 where a rich young man asks Jesus, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus responds that he needed to sell his many possessions and follow Him. The rich young man walked away grieving because the answer to his question tested his character, and he couldn’t pass the test. His possessions prevented him from having a relationship with Jesus, and eternal life.

What’s so countercultural about restraint?

Please understand, material possessions and money are not inherently wrong. They can help us lead a life of comfort, but when we love them too much, they can drive us to unethical extremes at the expense of others. 

Matthew 7:12a says “…do to others what you would have them do to you…” Are you practicing that? Look beyond yourself to see how you may be of aid to others.

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