You shall not covet …
— Exodus 20:17
Covetousness is a great evil in the eyes of God. Paul tells us, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5 NIV).
Jesus said, “Beware of covetousness” (Luke 12:15). We live in a society that glorifies covetousness, a society that talks about grasping all that you can get, a society which is predicated on getting and hoarding. Therefore, we have all of these forces coming to bear on our lives, militating against the teaching of Christ.
Greed is like an octopus in the soul, wrapping its tentacles around every part of our spiritual life until it squeezes all the life out of us. That is why the Bible says that the “covetous man is an idolater,” and has no place in the kingdom of God.
Greed and covetousness are the same thing. It is the desire for more, and it cannot co-exist with the worship of the true God. Greed makes possessions our security and hope. It is a root sin, and the underlying reason for many other sins.
Question to ponder:
What do you think is the most common motive for murder? How does greed take hold of a person?