GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Avarice, Greed, and Covetousness
By Keith L. Estes
There are shades of meaning in avarice that neither covetousness nor greed captures…
Covetousness is a desire for things we do not have; avarice is a hoarding of things we have but don't need... Greed is an inordinate desire for more and more; covetousness is greed flavored by jealousy, making it the desire for something someone else has. Whatever the shade of meaning, selfishness is the common denominator...
"And Jesus said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns and build greater: and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." (Luke 12: 15-21)
Mel Wheatley said, "The things we can grasp will not fully satisfy us when they are reached. And what is more, that which does satisfy us can be reached for, but never fully grasped."
The more we have, the more we want. We keep grasping, spending ourselves- our time and energy and resources-for money, for toys, for gadgets, for things. We've seen it on bumper stickers: "He who dies with the most toys wins." Jesus says no to that. "You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you And the things you have prepared, whose will they be? So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God."...Avarice, greed, and covetousness are expressions of our distorted view of the world: The world is indifferent, there is nothing more than this. We have only ourselves and each other. Let's eat, drink, and be merry!
Don Blanding gave up his "eat, drink, and be merry" philosophy and began to reach for that which can satisfy, but can never be fully grasped. In his book, Joy Is An Inside Job, he explains: "I knew that there was Something...Some Way...Some Answer. I'd better not wait too long to find out about it...I read psychology, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, dianetics,...mental science, will-power, occultism and cultism. I gulped Physics, metaphysics and plain physics. I ended up with a fine case of Muddlephysics. There was a Shining Thread running through All of this...it was the deep realization that in the Power of the Presence of God-Consciousness, not as a remote and distant thing to be pled for, but an immediate and ever-present power, awaiting only recognition and acceptance, lies...the Peace of Heart which is beyond any other treasure, tangible or intangible, in the world."
Don discovered that he was more than a body, more than senses to be satisfied, more than physical hungers to be fed. He had become rich toward God.
Ref: The Seven Deadly Sins by Maxie Dunnam & K.D. Reisman, Nashville, Used By Permission.