• Topic > Life Struggles > Greed >

    I Didn’t Care About Starving Kids in Africa

    It was Christmas morning. The whole family was together, even though most of the children were married and starting their own families. We were about to open presents.

    Why We Never Get What We Want

    As a child, I was a huge fan of the Donald Duck series. I enjoyed watching the silly antics of the main characters, like the greedy miser Uncle Scrooge, his rival Flintheart Glomgold, the lazy Donald Duck, and his three clever nephews.

    Are contentment and ambition enemies?

    The word “ambition” often is used with suspicion in Christian circles. Perhaps because the word “selfish” is often associated with it! Don’t miss this important discussion.

    Me and Dresses

    I did it again. I bought a dress. I couldn’t help it. It was so cheap. I didn’t need it. Me and dresses, we have this dalliance going on for quite some time. They are not to disturb me and steal my attention. They are to look bland and […]

    Instant Gratification

    When the Polaroid SX-70 camera was introduced in 1972, it revolutionized photography. An article by Owen Edward in Smithsonian magazine described the camera as “a miracle of physics, optics and electronics.” When a photo was snapped, “a blank square would emerge from the front of the camera and develop before our eyes.” People were sold on speedy, immediate results.

    More, More, More

    Some people love to shop. They have a perpetual desire to buy, buy, buy. The craze to find the latest deal is worldwide. There are huge shopping malls in China, Saudi Arabia, Canada, the Philippines, the United States, and around the world. A rise in store purchases and online buying show that buying is a global phenomenon.

    Greedy Birds

    Every year when I put out the hummingbird feeder, the busy little birds start battling for position. Even though there are four places at the “table,” the birds fight for whatever place one of their neighbors is using. The source of food at each place is the same—

    Money Talk

    Marilyn and Steven had been married just a few years, and money was tight. But as she looked at their threadbare bedspread, she wanted to replace it. So she decided she would buy a new one with a credit card—hoping to somehow find the money to pay it off.

    Riches Of The Soul

    With the hope of winning a record jackpot of $640 million, Americans spent an estimated $1.5 billion on tickets in a multistate lottery in early 2012. The odds of winning were a staggering 1 in 176 million, but people stood in lines at grocery stores, gas stations, and cafes to buy a chance to become rich. Something inside us makes us think more money will solve our problems and improve our lives.

    The Challenge Of Riches

    While our family was living in Kenya in the 1980s, we drove a young woman from Nairobi to visit her parents who lived near Lake Victoria. On the way, we stopped in the city of Kisumu to leave our luggage at a hotel where we would stay after taking her home.

    God’s generosity and our human discontentment

    “But many who are first will be last, and the last first. For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ And they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’ So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they murmured against the landlord, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and yo

    A parable that runs contradictory to our perceptions of right and wrong

    "But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they murmured against the landlord, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen” (Matthew 19:30 – 20:16).

    IDEA: God’s grace confuses us and we want to explain it away.

    PURPOSE: To recognize why we should not have a bookkeeping mentality with God.

    A Lock Of Hair

    After his return from the moon, Neil Armstrong was often plagued by the media. Seeking greater privacy, he moved his family into a small town. But notoriety was a nuisance even there. Armstrong’s barber found out that people would pay good money to get a lock of his hair. So after giving the space hero several haircuts, he sold the clippings to a buyer for $3,000! Armstrong was shocked at the barber’s opportunism.

    Beware Of What You Want

    Sometimes I wonder why God didn’t list the Ten Commandments in reverse order, since the 10th commandment correlates to the first sin—desire. Eve’s sin wasn’t simply her desire for a piece of fruit; it was the desire for knowledge that Satan told her would make her like God (Gen. 3:5). Eve’s covetousness caused her to violate both the first and tenth commands that God later gave to Moses.

    Rich Toward God

    I watch the fluctuations of the stock market and reflect on the effects of fear and greed. A character in a 1980s movie had this philosophy: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right! Greed works! . . . Greed [will] save . . . the USA!” What foolish thinking!

    I think of that occasion when a man asked Jesus to serve as an arbiter and make his brother share their inheritance. Jesus refused the request but went on to do the man a greater kindness.

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