For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faithand pierced themselves with many griefs.(1 Timothy 6:10, NIV)
What we must be most careful of in capitalism is greed. The world is teaching us how to be rich, and people are trying to be wealthy. The money will be our purpose if we set our goal of being rich, and we think that it will protect us. However, Jesus says in Revelation 3:17 that those who say, “I am rich because I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing” do not realize that they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Blind means that they have no judgments to distinguish between right and wrong and do not know the existence of eternal life. Thus, they are eventually wretched because they cannot get into heaven and practically pitiful and naked since they have no inheritance in heaven.
We need to define exactly what greed is.
First Timothy 6:9 warns that those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. What can be inferred from this is that greed derives not from the state of being rich itself but from the desire to get rich. If we are devoured by the desire of getting rich, it will covertly become the goal of our lives, and instead of the Lord, it will occupy our hearts. Namely, we deviate out of a normal track and fall into greed. A normal track means to work and earn diligently with our talents the Lord has given and do good with our hearts and materials in gratitude and satisfaction. However, if we deviate from the normal track, we will get into the desire to possess more, and we will hold on to what we have only for ourselves. Also, even if we can live well by ourselves, we will not be able to exercise good influence around us or take the role of light and salt in the world. In the end, money will become not our implement to do good but our idol because it becomes our lord.
Jesus tells us in Luke 12:15 that we should be on our guard against all kinds of greed. That is why our lives do not consist of the abundance of our possessions. If we do not make God our Lord but make money lead us, He cannot protect us. What is having more useful for without eternal life? Greed is like a swamp; the more we love it, the deeper we fall into the endless desire. Ultimately, we cannot live a blessed and grateful life because of no peace and satisfaction.
When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia,two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels,I coveted them and took them.(from Joshua 7:21, NIV)
Escaping from Egypt, the Israelites arrived in the land of Canaan and fought wars against the Canaanites to occupy the land. Their first occupied territory was Jericho, where God commanded them to devote to Him everything they gained there, including gold and silver. However, after Israel won the war, Achan son of Carmi wandered around and found a beautiful robe, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels. He coveted them and hid them in the ground inside his tent. He disobeyed the command of the Lord. God’s anger burned against Israel, and He was not with them. The Israelites did not know it and went to the next battlefield at Ai to occupy it. However, thirty-six of them were killed there, and they finally ran away from the enemy. Israel was defeated because the Lord was not with them. The sin of Achan was eventually revealed, and he was stoned to death. Then, the Lord turned from His fierce anger. His sin is one of the examples to show the process and result of coveting. Achan got blinded by what he must not have, disobeyed God’s command, and caused great damage to Israel, where he belonged. His sin was finally disclosed, and he was killed miserably. He died of his covetousness.
Greed makes our eyes blind and paralyzes our conscience, making it difficult to discern what is right and wrong.
If we covet more, we may adopt something expediential or illegal. Also, we may consider tax evasion or unfair trade. To keep us from coveting, we must be content with what we have, like the Word of Timothy 6:6 says. Also, we need to fix our eyes on God, who fills us with good things. Contentment is greatly beneficial for our godliness because we are thankful to God in all our circumstances. Also, it causes us to do good, following Jesus’s words, so it makes us accumulate more treasures in heaven. Such people know how to use money as a good means. The riches of coveting are harmful to us, but the properties of love and justice accumulate treasures in heaven.