Think about this for a moment – what is your definition of greed? Who is greedy? You probably have an idea in your head of Wall Streeters who bonus themselves millions while letting others go bankrupt.
But what if I told you that 80% of the world, according to Global Issues, lives on $10/day. In comparison, middle-class Americans spend $59/day. Not only that, but in recent years 41% of Americans have cut back on donating to charity organizations and nonprofits. 34% have stopped giving all together.
Stop living as a slave
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You see, our culture and our media have fed us a different idea of what greed is. They sell an idea of luxuries as the “norm.” And it’s true, for our country it is. But we’re also sold that we have to have this to be happy. We are privileged, but we live in a culture of excess and most of us are addicted to comfort, luxury, and convenience.
What I want you realize, friend, is that greed doesn’t have a number. There is no obvious line where someone crosses over and all the sudden they are greedy. It is not defined by what is in your bank account! You can have zero money and be greedy! In fact, greed isn’t strictly about money. You could be greedy for affection, fame, recognition, whatever your vice may be.
It is one of those things like seeing the speck in your neighbor’s eye while missing the log lodged in your own. You can identify it easily in others, but it is more difficult to evaluate in yourself. But greed can wreck you! It can wreck your bank account and your relationships. If you are obsessing over things – money, fame, recognition, your career, your business – you are on a road to destruction.
Friend, you were designed with wealth in mind! And greed is not part of that – greed goes against that design. It will keep you broke and wanting for more, more , more.
So what is the opposite of greed? What does that look like? Back when I was obsessed with STUFF, I came to the realization that the big house and all the clothes weren’t for anybody else but myself. My kids didn’t need all that space, my husband didn’t care about it. It was all just extra stress.
From that point on, Hans and I sold the big house, dumped the extra stress, dumped the obsession with stuff. In our household we teach our kids to live a simple life and to always attach a charitable arm to everything they do. We take our gross income, and give 10% to charity.
It’s not about money or even about making sure to give to charity. What is important is the lifestyle choices and habits you are passing on to your children. Are you encouraging them to obsess over junk? What example are you setting for them and for your community?
Our country needs to give up it’s greed for junk, power, sex and fame. But you have to be the instigators of this change. Start by sowing a good example into your family, and passing this message on to your coworkers and friends. Your circle of influence could start representing these values right now! And what a difference that would make.
In great faith,