Colossians 4:2 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
The second common symptom is Self-dependence. Pastor Challies asks: “Why would we pray to God for our daily bread when we have plenty of finances and resources to get all we want?” “Why pray to God to give us wisdom when we can already see the fruit of our hard work and good decisions?” Self-dependence manifests especially in prayerlessness. Proverbs 30:8-9 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
The third symptom of affluence-center greed is ingratitude. The bible makes it clear that all the good we enjoy is a gift from God. The Bible is equally clear that we are to return thanks to God, gratefully and specifically, for each one of those good gifts. Pastor Challies asks: “Why should we give thanks to God when we are the one who has worked so hard for what we have?” Do we believe James 1:17? “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” When we look around us, do we miss the amazing provision and beauty that surrounds us daily, and forget the Creator of us and it all?
Mark 10:23-27 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And they were greatly astonished, saying among themselves, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
Well, God is in the restoration business of his creation and the power of God to heal you and I is far greater than the power of affluence caused greed to distract and destroy us. Overcoming greed begins with our owning and identifying that sin before God. Overcoming first requires confession. Confession that we have too often have preferred the gifts to the gift-Giver. Prepare to do battle with this sin of greed because the Bible tells us that there are always two parts to overcoming it. First, we must put an end to patterns of sin. Second, we must replace those old, evil in the sight of God patterns with new holy ones. Greed is not addressed through poverty or frugality, but through generosity. Have some time to share with someone in needs.
Ephesians 5:15-17 “ See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Let's finish this great message on "contentment" tomorrow's post.
In Christ, Brian