For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.Ephesians 5:5 NIV
How should God’s holy people live? Paul gives us some examples of how not to live, including this particular verse. And then he goes on to instruct us to live as children of the light.
But what I find the most interesting, and challenging, in this passage has to do with what he has to say about greed. Paul identifies greed as a form of idolatry. Greed is a desire for more and better. Never having enough to be satisfied. I live in an affluent society. Yet we are bombarded by advertising that tells us we really need more and better to be truly happy. Essentially glorifying greed. And all too often, even as believers, we buy into that lie.
But that greed is a deadly enemy. It draws our attention away from our Lord. Turning our eyes, and our hearts, to the things of this world. And that is why Paul identifies greed as a form of idolatry. An idol is anything that takes God’s place in our hearts. Anything that takes our eyes off of the Lord become an idol for me.
Struggling with Greed
I do not believe that we are all called to live in poverty. But we should be content with what we have. And be willing to share what we have with others. If I am always wanting more, or better. Or am unwilling to share with others in need. Then I am guilty of idolatry. I have allowed my physical possessions to become idols.
I will be the first to confess that I struggle with this. There is a real appeal to accumulate more and better, and hold tightly to what I have. Learning to be content with my physical possessions, and keep my eyes focused on Christ takes a daily effort. But it is well worth the effort.
The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.
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