We were married in the summer of 2009 and moved into an sweet cottage the day we returned from our honeymoon. In this season of married life, the sin of greed keeps popping up within me like a stubborn Jack-in-the-box. I shove him back down for a while, but it's not long before the tinny music starts again and he thrusts the box lid aside.
Having our own place. What a gracious gift. Yet all gracious gifts may be marred by hands that do not offer back to the Giver. A disfiguring I have certainly done. Clutched this home to my chest and called it "my own." Taken wild amounts of time to fill and arrange it, and then more days to curate and maintain it. Having a home and possessions are not, of course, inherently wrong, but I know the intent of my heart, and more often than not, my motivation is ugly.
I told my best friend yesterday, "I need to constantly come back to the source of truth. I find that I believe our culture over the Word of God, and the deception is so subtle, I don't even see it at first."
Possessions and wealth are a perfect example of that deception.
I am re-reading Linda Dillow's book, Calm My Anxious Heart. I read the chapter on greed this morning. What a refreshing realignment. God is so good to bring us back to Him, to draw us into His heart and say, "Child, this is how I want you to live."
Here are my underlinings from the chapter. I hope they encourage you, wherever you may land in this battle against greed.
"Give a man everything he wants and at that moment everything will not be everything."
"That for which she longs gradually become that to which she belongs."
"Proverbs 30:15 says, 'The leech has two daughters, 'Give! Give!' they cry.' In other words, greed is a bloodsucking worm. Greed is insidious. Greed is disgusting."
"Need must be created, discontent stirred up."
Four principles on wealth found in Scripture:
1. Everything belongs to God.
"Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand." -1 Chronicles 29:14
2. Heart attitude is the issue.
"Though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them." -Psalm 62:10
3. God comes first and possessions come second.
"We are told to 'keep our lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you' (Hebrews 13:5). Has your house, your dining room set, your beautiful new clothing ever said, 'I will never leave you?' "
4. Possessions are to be used, not loved.
See Luke 12 for a warning that hits our culture dead on.
"Happiness is getting what we want; contentment is wanting what we get."
For me, greed is not an issue that I can solve once and never reconsider. Perhaps if I lived on a desert island with only coconuts and a hammock. But I don't. You and I live in the richest country of the world. That's not a guilt trip; it's reality. My surroundings mean that I have to continually spring-clean my heart for greed. Open up the closets and peer back into the furthest shelves. What is hiding within?
To be a woman who truly believes that her treasure is stored up in heaven! I have lived weeks where the honest desire of my heart landed more on cute antiques and stylish fabrics than on the treasures of heaven. Yet I see Christ pounding the anvil; His hammer is hitting my soul, and that is hope.
We are His workmanship. He is making us into His image. It is a timely process; it is a painful process; it is a joyous process.
Incline my heart unto Thy testimonies,
and not to covetousness.
Turn my eyes away from beholding vanity;
and quicken thou me in Thy ways.
Quicken thou me in Thy ways.
Amen and amen.