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Discovery Magazine 8/1/2008

Greed

Have you ever wondered why there are so many commercials during TVshows? Just when something good is about to happen in the middle of your favorite show, boom! It happens. Another commercial runs for what seems like forever. Why all the commercials? Advertisers know you are watching, and they want you to become interested in what they are selling. Whether it’s a toy, food, or entertainment, they encourage you to want what they are selling. And occasionally, it works. Sometimes we see something that we want, and soon that “want” turns into “I’ve got to have it!” Before long, we feel like we would give anything to have what we saw on that commercial. But wait a minute—give anything?

Jesus asked an important question that we all need to consider from time to time. The question was this: “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26). No, we usually do not want the entire world for ourselves, but oftentimes our entire world revolves around what we want. This is called greed or covetousness. Our uncontrolled desire for something that we do not need, cannot have, or should not have, always leads us into other sinful activities. After all, the Bible teaches us that greed (the love of money) is a root of “all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Consider the biblical example of Achan (Joshua 7:10-26). After conquering Jericho, the Israelites were commanded not to take anything for themselves, but Achan, motivated by covetousness, took several things for himself, and tried to hide them. When he was confronted about what he had done, he answered, “When I saw…I coveted them and took them.” Also, notice that it started with a look. He “saw,” and then he coveted and took (read 1 John 2:15-17).

We need to be careful about what we watch, and make sure we do not give covetousness or greed a way into our lives. Anything in this world can lead us to greed and covetousness. Therefore, let us remember Jesus’ warning given in Luke 12:15: “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.” 



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