“To be clever enough to get all that money, you must be stupid enough to want it.”
- G. K. Chesterton
The fifth tool Satan uses to suck suckers into hell is the deadly vice of avarice. Y’know what I’m talking, about don’t ya? That “show me the money, I’ll sell my soul and my grandmother, become a corporate whore, pimp my integrity, blow off my family, lie like an OJ, shave my head and walk backwards, do whatever to whomever to get my nasty, greedy, sweaty palms on some major cash, dammit!” attitude.
This sin is so bad in God’s eyes and drives so many people and nations over the cliff and into the pit that God had to slap a commandment (the 10th one) forbidding it’s presence on His planet. But like the rest of God’s advice on what to do and not do, we blow off His counsel regarding this temptation like E.D. Hill would Rosie O’Donnell’s amorous advances.
Not only are we ignoring the Trinity’s take on this snake, but we are also twisting that which He calls evil into something that we now deem good. We take the greediest clowns on the planet and parade them and this peccadillo on TV as something that we should all aspire towards. Yes, today you kind of feel weird if your ambition is not to be the richest, soulless son of a monkey kicking up dust on the earth.
So, what is greed and why is it so God-awful? Greed, as Os Guinness states, “is a sin with two components: getting what we do not have and keeping what we do.”
Now before anyone starts getting loopy and begins to equate greed with having stuff, stuff is not bad to have unless it has you.
How do you know if greed has got you? Well, one way to gauge whether or not you’re a goner in this arena is how you react when you see a starving kid on television: if it makes you hungry and prompts you to buy another fridge and then go to Costco to fill it, greed’s got you.
Another thing that might tip you off that you have officially lost your mind is if you get sexually aroused as you read Money magazine or if you get equally excited watching Cashin’ In on Fox. That could mean your Emily Rose-ing into the, “I need an exorcism mode” with this whole love of money thing.
No, greed cannot be deduced to just having or wanting things. Neither can it be simplified by the old stereotype of some money hoarding, parsimonious, spendthrift who can pinch a penny so hard he can make it squeal.
No, the soul of this sin, in the words of Guinness, “is not the love of possessions but of possessing and therefore being a possessor.” The ironic thing about this unmistakable mistake, according to Os, “is that those who have as their passion the pursuit of possessing end up getting possessed.”