There were people shoving and pushing as they tried to get closer. Anticipation was high in the air. This particular woman was near sheer desperation as she kept being pushed back. Was she ever going to make it in time? Had she really come this far only to miss this chance of getting what her heart so greatly desired? Surely there HAD to be a way! With one final attempt, she again tried to fight against all of the people who were hindering her from what she was determined to accomplish. As she fell to her knees, she was able to frantically grasp what she almost believed would never happen! But, finally, she did it…..She touched the hem of Jesus robe! Immediately, she felt the very life-giving power of Jesus flow throughout her body. She was healed! Oh, praise the Lord! She had finally met her Savior, and she was now complete and whole. The warmth from being in the presence of Jesus began seeping through her body. The joy she felt was indescribable! As she looked into the tender and loving eyes of Jesus, she knew she would never regret her persistence in pursuing the passion of her heart.
Years later, another scene similar to this happens. The date is November, 2013. Again, there are many people pushing and shoving as they anticipate what is before them. Each of them are desperately seeking the passions within their hearts. There is another frantic woman believing that what she is searching for will meet a need within her heart and, in sheer desperation, she also reaches out to grasp what she is looking for. And, she does it! But this time, it isn’t Jesus Who she is looking for. No. Instead of pursuing Jesus, she is driven by greed. Her hands are struggling to claim the last of the various deals. She is determined to get it and will stop at NOTHING! It doesn’t matter to her if people are trampled in the process.
I find it a bit appalling that the day after Thanksgiving, when we are to be focusing on all the blessings we HAVE, we are desperately trying to find all of the best deals on the things we don’t really NEED! Unfortunately, it is also usually at other people’s
expense. I’m not indicating that it’s wrong to take advantage of the sales that you can get during that time, (I also enjoyed a few of them!) but I am talking about the spirit of greed that is usually driving it.
Greed normally begins by us coveting what someone else has. We need to be reminded that, “Thou shalt not covet” is a command that God expects us to obey. When there is a symptom of greediness, we can be assured that we have been breaking one of God’s commandments. Now before you dismiss the thought that you don’t struggle with greed, let me ask you how you respond in some common experiences. As we all know, during the holiday times it can be frustrating with all of the people filling the store parking lots. I know how irritating it can be when I am in a hurry but need to stop and pick up a few items at Wal-mart. After my third time around the parking lot, I FINALLY wait for a car that’s backing out in front of me. Before I know it, the car from the other direction seems oblivious to how long I was sitting there waiting for “my spot” and, in one smooth move, they nicely pull into “my space.” How do I respond in this moment? If I become frustrated or angry, is this not a greedy attitude? Am I thinking about myself at this moment or am I thinking about the other person? It doesn’t mean that it was right for the other person to do this intentionally, however, we aren’t responsible for another person’s wrong…just our own.
Greed can even affect us in the areas of achievement. Do we covet or envy others when we see them being more effective in a certain area than we are? Greed isn’t necessarily
defined by WHAT we want, but rather by the length we will go to get it. This is what makes Black Friday so appalling! When you see what lengths people will go to get the best deals, it is very apparent that our society has become very self-centered and greedy for materialistic gain. As we frantically work to achieve our goals and to finally acquire what we want, we forget all about being grateful for them. Instead, our focus turns towards something else that we don’t have. We continue to want MORE and MORE! In the midst of it all, we find that we have very little lasting joy or contentment. I’m afraid America has lost its pursuit of God–pursuing material gain in the spirit of greediness?
Greediness can affect each of us– whether we are Christians or not. Do we truly have the mindset that what we have actually belongs to God? He is just lending them to us for a little while. Our little girls have given me a bit of a glimpse of how we sometimes spiritualize our greediness. Recently, our daughter, Chantaya (5) was attempting to get a toy that Kyra (3) was desperately trying to keep out of her reach. Chantaya kept saying, “Give it to me! It’s mine! It’s MINE!” Kyra, in return, responded, “No, you can’t have it! It’s not YOURS, it’s GOD’S!” Kyra thought that since it belongs to God, she shouldn’t have to share it or give it back to her sister. Hmm! Sounds like an attitude we, adults, have at times! When we don’t want to lend one of our cherished possessions to someone, we may say, “God wants us to be good stewards of this item, so we don’t feel good about lending it out to others.” I’m not saying this is always the case, but it does us good to search our hearts to find our true motives.
Our friends have recently experienced the horrible consequences of what this destructive greed can do and the terrible lengths that people will take in order to get what they want. Our friends’ twenty-five year old, married, son came home to find their small house being ransacked. Although he was in his car, he was shot in the back of his head and has been in critical condition ever since. It has been extremely heart-breaking to see everything that his dear wife and family have been going through! All because of the sin of greed– material gain, and selfishness! Please be in prayer for Marcus Kauffman and his family. (Click here for more information.)
Instead of grasping for the counterfeit of “joy” that Satan portrays, make the decision to have a change of heart and only pursue the passions that please God. When God calls you home, and you gaze into the tender and loving eyes of Jesus, will you regret that you pursued the greedy passions of your heart, or will you be glad that you made the choice to pursue HIM? How tightly will this greedy giant of materialism ensnare you? Will Jesus say to you, “I never knew you, depart from Me,” because of the wrong passions within your heart? Have you discovered that the only true needs you
have in this life are the things that only Jesus can provide? Although you may never think of taking the life of another person, you may still have the spirit of greed that needs to be dealt with. Make pursuing JESUS your passion! This is a passion worth fighting for!
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)