Most people don’t see themselves as greedy or selfish but most of us are in one way or another. So what is greed?
Greed – noun – excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.
Greed is taking more than you give.
Sit on that statement for a minute. It’s taking more than you give.
There is enough in the world for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed. ~ Frank Buchman
Potlucks and buffets show greed in the most interesting way. Some people are just generous, they walk in with a lot of food to share. You’re supposed to bring a dish to share but this person walks in with two or three dishes or one dish big enough to feed an army. Other people walk in with little or nothing. Their reasoning is that they don’t eat much, or knew there would be an abundance of food. That in and of itself isn’t greediness but it isn’t generous. I watch behavior and sometimes I see people who didn’t participate in the food share, but they are quick to offer to take food home to their family if there are leftovers. Remember greed is taking more than you give.
I don’t know what happens to people at potlucks and buffets, including myself! Perhaps it’s the array of food. Perhaps it’s the syndrome of our eyes being bigger than our stomaches. We recently went to Las Vegas and everything looked so good that I got a little of everything. Then as I tasted the food, some of it was delicious and other things not so much. It would have been great to stop there, at the taste test, but I didn’t. I went back to get a little more of the delicious stuff. Why? Because tomorrow I wouldn’t have access to it. I wasn’t even hungry, I was greedy, and gluttonous. Potlucks happen much the same way. We like something so much that we want it all for ourselves. Then something happens, we get into this mode of I must have it all.
Then there’s another sneakier greed that is ever pervasive in our society.
You can be considered greedy when you only invest in your own self interest.
This manifests in different ways. See if any of these things speak to your heart:
We’ll ask our friends to buy the junk our kid is selling but we won’t buy their kid’s junk and if we do, you can bet it will be the cheapest thing on the list even if we don’t need it.
We wouldn’t dream of baking a lasagna for a potluck when we’re on a diet. We can’t eat it so neither should anyone else.
And seriously? They want us to volunteer in children’s ministry at our church. We don’t even have children in children’s ministry!
An offering to missions? Sure! Count me in! Okay, let’s see, I am going to Chili’s after church to eat so I’ll need $20.00 and I only have $23.00, so I’ll give $3. Oh wait, what if there is tax or I decide to have dessert?
My husband needs t-shirts but oh, this purse is so cute! I’ll buy him 2 instead of 5 and I’ll get myself a little treat for thinking of him. WIN WIN!!
Can you think of other examples? Greed is subtle. We don’t even see that we have it. It’s time to take a good look at ourselves. We’ve been blessed with so much. Let’s be a blessing.