So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
Christmas is a time of year when we are bombarded by messages of “more.” Media tells us we need to buy all kinds of shiny, new toys. We won’t be fulfilled or happy in life until we own the latest and greatest version of this or that. It doesn’t matter how old you are, there is always some new thing you must have, that will revolutionize your life. On television, in billboards, on the radio, and in stores we are enticed to spend more and own more, to keep up with the rest of society or simply because we deserve it.
This time of full-tilt sales and advertisements is a good time to talk about greed. Most of us don’t like to think about the heart behind greed. It’s that ugly, little green monster that somewhat resembles the Grinch who stole Christmas. It’s the voice that tells us, “Everyone else has one, why shouldn’t you?” or “But it’s such a great deal—even if you don’t really need it, how can you pass it up?” Satan much prefers we ignore that little green monster and not acknowledge greed—because it’s so much more effective to subtly tempt us when we’re not on the lookout for it.
But Scripture cautions us against greed, against being consumed by needing more. Our sinful natures are distracted and tempted by this need for more things—things that ultimately break, get lost, or go out of fashion. Contrary to following our sinful nature, when we walk in the Spirit, we are able to more easily resist these temptations, to be on the lookout for the “greed monster” that keeps trying to creep into our hearts. We remember that the riches of the earth will be left here on earth. And we are focused on the things of the Spirit, the things that last.
In the midst of all the messages of “more,” stop and invite God to shift your perspective, and make a commitment to ruthlessly eradicate all traces of greed from your life.
Arm yourself against the “greed monster” by reading the following Scripture passages.