“Someone in the the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” Jesus replied o him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” – Luke 12:13-15
On the surface, the guy in the crowd does not seem all that greedy -he simply wants his brother to share. Yet, Jesus sees something in him he doesn’t see, that he is greedy. He has focused on possessions and stuff to give him life rather than focusing on Jesus’ teaching and soaking up his words of eternal life. (“Lord, to whom shall we go, you alone have the words of eternal life.”)
Greed it seems is nothing more than expecting money and possessions to meet our needs, caring about stuff more than listening to God and what he wants to share with us.
We spend crazy amounts at Christmas because we are greedy, we expect stuff to fill us. If we just stop denying it, then we can begin to be on guard against greed, to look at the various forms it takes – spending on extra for myself and family so I don’t have enough to give to God or to provide basic necessities for others, hurting other people’s feelings because I value my stuff more than their dignity, devising plans and strategies to upgrade my lifestyle, believing the newest gadget or clothing will fill my heart.
Life does not consist of getting more stuff, but in coming to know Christ Jesus and his will and plan for our lives. Jesus is the bread of life, living water, he has the words of eternal life.
In order to spend less this Christmas, we must be on guard. We have a natural bent toward greed and we are bombarded with messages that play on that natural fault. So let’s be on guard and realize our life is hidden with Christ.