You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world (Ephesians 5:5 NLT).
But godliness is actually a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment (I Timothy 6:6 NASB).
We always have a G(g)od in our lives. Either the one true God or anything else we value above Him. In this Christmas season we have been bombarded by Madison Avenue telling us that we need to have every sort of material possession and that we can obtain them with minimal cost. In the light of this reality it might behoove us to think about what Paul told the Church in Ephesus about greed.
Godliness with Contentment
To understand greed it is necessary to comprehend the meaning of covetousness. Covetousness is desiring something so much that we lose our contentment in God. Greed is covetousness’ ugly stepchild. Greed is a lust that by definition can never be fulfilled. The more you get the more you have to have. Once a very wealthy man was asked how much is enough? His retort was very telling. He said, “just one more dollar than I have.” There is no rest for the greedy. Just as there is no peace for a lustful pursuit in relation to sexual pleasures, power, success, etc.. This is why Paul told his disciple Timothy, But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment (I Timothy 6:6 NASB). Contentment is the opposite of covetousness. Covetousness says that God is not enough and we need to seek our fulfillment elsewhere. Let’s call it what it is, it is spiritual adultery. If we seek our greedy desires, we have to reject what Jesus said, … “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
Paul stated in our original scripture that a greedy person is an idolater. Jesus made it clear. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5 NKJV). The 10 Commandments begins and ends with almost the same thought. “You shall have no other gods before Me (Ex 20:3) and You shall not covet……. (Ex 20:17). Greed is the evidence of a divided heart, one in which the “things of this world” have a stronger hold on us than our God would desire.
I am not saying that things are wrong, God created them for our good pleasure. It’s the priority they take that is the problem. As noted author Tim Keller has said, “ its when we make good things ultimate things.” There is room for only one God in our hearts. There is the capacity in our heart for many loves, but only after the one true God reigns supreme in it.