“The person whose heart is coated with greed believes he has earned the good things that have come his way and, therefore, is determined to control his possessions and wealth the way he sees fit. Greedy people have a supersized sense of ownership.”- Andy Stanley
In Chapter 15 (“Confronting Greed”) of Enemies of the Heart, Andy Stanley reminds us that fear fuels greed. Specifically, a greedy person fears that God either (a) can’t or (b) won’t take care of him/her. And if God can’t or won’t, only one person fits the bill. The greedy person! But, like all human appetites, it’s impossible to satisfy one’s appetite for financial security.
Since there’s never enough, the cycle of acquisition, hoarding, and self-indulgence continues. Therefore, in His preface to The Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:15-21), Jesus issued a blunt warning on the topic of greed: “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Therefore, we must take care to diligently guard our hearts. Because greed can live undetected in our hearts for years. Also, it’s difficult for us to diagnose, especially self-diagnose, greed.
Yet, not everyone knows or accepts Jesu’s admonition that an abundance of possessions doesn’t supply life with significance. Many people believe that life equals the sum total of what you own. Plus, Andy observes, many people are more prone to this belief that you’d think.
As a result, after giving His warning, Jesus launches into The Parable of the Rich Fool. In an agricultural society, Andy points out, people immediately understand that an abundant harvest had little to do with the rich fool’s hard work. Bounty results from factors out of the farmer’s control. But, it never crosses the rich fool’s mind that God had anything to do with his bumper crop.
Today’s question: In what ways do you claim a supersized sense of ownership? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Your money or your life”