By: Kendra Roehl
How do you know if you are greedy? The Bible showed me this in an unexpected way, and it can help you learn if you are greedy in hidden ways too.
How to Know If You Are Greedy
This morning, I was reading through Ephesians 5 when verse 5 stopped me:
“…a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” (NLT)
Who is a greedy person, exactly? I thought. It’s not something I usually attribute to myself or those around me, so I looked it up.
The dictionary describes greedy as “having or showing an intense and selfish desire for something.”
“Well, that is definitely something I can relate to,” I whispered under my breath. So I read the scripture again, this time putting the meaning of greed into the passage.
“…a greedy person [who has or shows an intense and selfish desire for something] is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” Ephesians 5:5 NLT
As I read through the passage again, I thought of all the things for which I can have an intense desire. How often I put my own selfishness above loving God or loving others. And how, when I do, I’m actually committing idolatry by worshipping the things of this world.
How to Change from Being Greedy
“How do I change this?” I asked God as I closed my morning devotional time with the Lord. As I went about my day, I waited for an answer.
I didn’t hear God’s voice right away. In fact, I didn’t hear anything at all until yesterday afternoon when I made supper for a friend who lost her father suddenly last week. She’s from a war-torn country and fled with her immediate family. She hadn’t seen her dad in several years and she grieved his loss, knowing she’d never again have the chance to see him in this life.
As we sat together on her couch, she told me about a memory she hadn’t thought about in years. She was a teenager when troops came through her city, pillaging and taking anything from the homes that they wanted. She was upset because they had taken many of her family’s belongings, including her gold jewelry.
My friend was so upset over the loss that she cried. Her dad came to her and said, “Why do you cry? These are just things. We can’t hang on to the things of this world so tightly that we can’t let them go. Even our family members, we can love them, but not to the point of not letting go. Only God we hang on to—He is all that we have in life. Everything else could be gone.”
Now as an adult with a family of her own, she knows his words were true. She appreciates his wisdom from so many years ago. I agreed. Such a wise man.
So how do I let go of my greed and selfishness? I thought as I gave my friend a hug, thanking her for sharing her story with me.
The answer was clear: Hold only onto God. He is my constant. Everything else in this life can change—it all may come and go—but he remains. That’s the message God gave me, and I pray it encourages your faith today.
Wife Step: Are there things you’ve been greedy about lately? How can you let them go and cling to God instead?
Do it afraid. Kendra Roehl has sought to live out that advice as a social worker, foster parent, mother of five, public speaker and author. Kendra and her husband have become well-known advocates for foster care, taking in over 20 children in six years, and adopting three of them. She continues to care for others on their journeys as a frequent speaker, a founder of The Ruth Experience and an author of several books, including the One Year Daily Acts of Friendship: 365 Days to Finding, Keeping, and Loving Your Friends. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook @theruthexperience
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