Sin

The Dangerous Threesome

There are three very dangerous sins that, in a way, go together: greed, envy, and idolatry. I say that they are dangerous because they lead to many other sins and ultimately pull us away from following the Lord Jesus and living the way He wants us to live.

I talked in another post about how godless our society has become or has really always been but now it’s just more out in the open, but this series on sin is not for the non-Christians, it is for those who claim to be born-again followers of Jesus and struggle with sin, just as we all do.

We live in a world that glorifies stuff. Buy more stuff, make more money, buy even more stuff, and then you can die happy. Of course, as Christians, we know this isn’t true. Money truly doesn’t buy happiness. But the Bible doesn’t say that having money is a sin. It says that greed is a sin.

Greed is an “intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.” You see, greed isn’t all about money. You can intensely and selfishly desire power, food, fame, and I believe even people. The main point I believe that Scripture wants to make about greed is that it is selfishness.

The greedy stir up conflict, but those who trust in the Lord will prosper. (Proverbs 28:25)

You see the Bible speaks a lot about God’s people prospering. To prosper means to go beyond what is necessary for survival. However, if you notice the Lord is the one who causes His people to prosper. I don’t believe we should pursue wealth actively. We need to focus on doing God’s will, whatever that may be for your life. I truly believe that if we are following God and doing His will, He will cause us to prosper whether that is in your finances, your family, your friends, or whatever – but it comes from God, not from our selfish gains and pursuits.

I have struggled with greed off and on because this world is so focused on money and my husband and I got focused on making money too. But God convicted us of our wrong motives and now we are focused on a better future, one not filled with us just making money and enjoying life but actually using the money God gives us to give back to others through ministries and missions. We still want money, but not for the sake of having money. We want money so that we can be a greater blessing to others who are in need. I don’t want to worry about paying my rent – I want to be in a position to pay someone else’s rent or help them start a career, or build them a house, or put food on their table. That is why we want money, but it will come from God and not our selfish pursuits or striving.

That leads me to envy. Envy is “a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.” So, again, we are being selfish. We want what someone else has rather than being content with what God has already given us.

I have felt this one too. Sometimes I don’t want to live the life God has called us to live. I want something easier. Sometimes I wish my husband had a normal job and was content to just live like “everyone else.” But then I realize that our calling is unique and that I could never really be happy living a “normal” life because I’ve never been a “normal” girl. What I really want is to follow God’s will, whatever that is for us. It is so much more important that we obey Him. And the only way I can feel content is to stop looking at the lives of other people and just focus on what God has called us to do – called me to do and do it each and every day the best that I can.

Finally, we have idolatry. Idolatry is “extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.” That’s okay when our love and reverence are for the Lord God, but not for anyone else – not even our spouse. No one and nothing, not our kids, not our spouse, not our career, not our health, not our money, should ever come before God. Anything we put before God is an idol.

You may think, “Oh, no worries there, I never have idols.” Really? Because I’ve had idols in the past and sometimes still do. When I decide to play a game or get an extra hour of sleep before work instead of spending time with God, that is an idol. When I watch TV when I know I should be cleaning or reading God’s Word, that’s an idol. When I say I can’t live without my husband or children, that’s an idol. The only One we can’t live without is God.

My mom idolized her first husband and he ended up walking out on her. She knows that part of it was God allowing her idol to fall. And as I said before, I’ve idolized my time, my entertainment, even my spouse in the past. Every day, every decision we make, we need to choose to put God first to keep from creating idols.

Greed, envy, and idolatry are all present in the church and in the body of Christ, but it doesn’t have to stay there. Just because you struggle with something doesn’t mean it has to become a way of life. There is always deliverance in Christ if we repent and ask for His help. He’s always ready and willing to help us to grow and change.

Thank you so much for reading this post! I truly hope that it helps you as it is helping me. Please post your struggles with greed, envy, or idolatry in the comment section below!

God bless!

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One Comment

  • Karen

    These are the dangerous threesomes! This reminds me why I’m here and not to be caught up in this world. I struggle with all three from time to time but then God brings a blog like this and it gives me a gentle reminder of where to put my focus. Godly wisdom! I love the pictures that go along with your blog as well.

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