Abraham: A Life of Obedience
11/09/21 – 11/18/21
Greed Breeds Sorrow
By Michael Youssef, Ph D. 11/12/21
There is a children’s story about a dog with a big, juicy bone crossing over a small footbridge. He stops long enough to gaze down into the pool of water beneath the bridge and sees what he believes is another dog with an even bigger bone!
Instead of being happy with what he has been given, he drops his bone and lunges forward to take the other dog’s bone. But there was no other dog and no other bone. What he saw was his own reflection in the water below. His entanglement with greed and deception caused him to lose what was precious to him.
Many people live their lives in this way. They look at what others have and want more than what they have been given. They allow themselves to be consumed with discontentment and jealousy, disastrous attitudes.
Similarly, Lot was jealous of Abraham. When the men decided to part ways, Lot insisted on settling in the cities of the plain near Jordan. The men could see from where they stood how rich and fertile the land was (see Genesis 13:10-11). Abraham humbly accepted the physically challenging land of Canaan. Lot’s choice was one motivated by his greedy, self-centered desires, while Abraham was motivated by a sincere desire to follow God and live in peace. He believed God’s promises to bless him and make him into a great nation, and so he continued to worship the Lord in his new land (see Genesis 13:14-18).
Jealous for the best land, Lot settled near Sodom and suffered (see Genesis 14, 19:1-29). Selfishness, envy, and greed only lead to sorrow and defeat. If you have allowed envy to set up shop in your life, ask God to tear down this stronghold and forgive you for your faithlessness. He has a marvelous plan for your life; you do not need to envy the life of another.
Prayer: Lord, cleanse me from all thoughts of envy and greed. Teach me to be satisfied with Your blessings in my life and to pursue Your will and wisdom. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the LORD will prosper” (Proverbs 28:25).