In a movie whose title I don’t remember, Michael Douglas told an audience that greed was good. It must be good for so many have the obsession. Of course, we can also consult the Bible’s view, different as it is from Douglas’. For Scripture says greed is terribly and invasively wicked since so many fall victim to it.
Christians side with the Bible.
In two days this week, 5-7 and 8, 2015, the San Diego Union-Tribune carried four stories featuring greed. In one case eight defendants were charged with trying to embezzle $7 million from beer conglomerate MillerCoors. In another JP Morgan Chase had been put under formal investigation in France for evading taxes. In a third, a former Navy SEAL was sent to prison for defrauding investors of $1.2 million. And in a fourth, a Jamaica man was convicted of running a lottery scam that cost victims around the country millions of dollars.
The Bible condemns greed as idolatry, Colossians 3:5, because greed becomes an obsession with those who first flirt with it, then date it, only to find it a ravenous lover with unappeasable appetite for MORE—money, fame, possessions. In addition, the individual lacks any desire to stop feeding the ravenous monster. His only desire is to acquire MORE so he can feel content, only to find that MORE needs MORE.
None of the above defendants voluntarily stopped seeking MORE. They had to be stopped by the law. Jesus stops the greedy impulse at the beginning of discipleship by saying, “Deny yourself.” That puts the greedy SELF to death so the Gracious Christ can rule.