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What is greed

12 jurors reached the courtroom of Manhattan to deliver their verdict at 11.38am on Friday the June 15th 2012. Two were in tears. “I struggled, I’ll be honest with you,” said Ronnie Sesso, “I was trying to determine the outcome of this person’s life.” 51-year-old Lepkowski said in an interview at the Manhattan federal court, “I wanted to believe the allegations weren’t true…but those allegations on which we found guilt — the evidence was overwhelming.” The juror Ronnie Sesso, summed the motive up as “a need for greed.”

What could a man who has everything possibility want? The answer it would seem is a four-letter word, ‘More’.

63 year old, Rajat Gupta wanted to have ‘more’ even though he has a successful life to look back upon. The tragedy is that when he looks around he will see a jail term that could go up to 25 years. Gupta did schooling from Delhi’s premier Modern School, studied in IIT Delhi, then Harvard Business School, became the first person born outside US to be appointed as global head of McKinsey & Co and a director at Goldman Sachs and Procter and Gamble. He served in several boards of both companies and non-profit organizations. Rajat Gupta broke through racial glass ceilings in the corporate world in a way that no other Indian and few people had done before. He has raised millions of dollars for education and health-care, moved with CEOs and heads of state from Bill Gates to Bill Clinton and served as adviser to UN. He has a net worth estimated at $84million. Gupta was an example of the American dream, someone who had lived a “storybook life.” He was the most illustrious Indian in US.

Rajat Gupta fell from lofty places of fame and reputation to lowly places of shame and disgrace because of greed or the desire for more.

What is greed? It is inordinate desire to acquire and possess more than is needed. There are lots of people who claim that greed is good because they believe greed is an incentive to work hard, to be productive and to get success in life. It keeps them moving forward to get all what they want. The problem is that greed does not end with hard work and success or enough, it always longs for more. It can go to the extent of not just getting more but also getting the little others posses. Greed is very dangerous because it can ruin something that took years to build.

Greed has caused the downfall of many Guptas even civilizations. Alexander the great fell for conquest, the Trojans for Helen of Troy, the Sodomites and Gamorrites for sexual lust, Mayans by the Spanish for gold and religion, Hitler for land. The biggest financial scandals of our time have its roots in greed. The enemy uses greed as a bait to pull many mighty down.

Greed has its root in selfishness. Selfishness came because of sin that broke man’s fellowship with God. Man became self-dependent and developed the thought that it is all about him. He craved for security, significance and self-worth apart from God.

Greed acts against the value of generosity. Greed seeks for always getting a little more. Rockefeller was once asked, “How much is enough? He answered, “More than I presently have.” The last commandment of 10 commandments says, “Do not covet”. Coveting is violation of the greatest law of love that is giving.

Most of all greed is contrary to the character of God and that is why it is listed as one of the gravest sin in the Bible “nor thieves, nor the covetous (greedy), nor drunkards…will inherit the kingdom of God.” I Corinthians 6:10, Mark 7:22, Romans 1:29, Ephesians 5:3.

Some might think that they do not have greed because they are not seeking millions of rupees, wealth or any such things. Greed has many forms. You may have if: when you’re always seeking ways to make more money or desire to have more of anything that is worldly, feel uneasy around people who are wealthier than you, make critical remarks about people who are rich, not satisfied with what is at hand, ponder how much it is going to cost when a family member gets sick, can’t say “no” when offered money to do a job, would rather have a high paying job than one which is interesting and rewarding and the list goes on and on.

The antidote to greed is contentment. “[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of [a] inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain. (I Timothy 6:6 Amplified). There must be a sense of inward sufficiency in all situations of life, both in fullness and in emptiness. Greed can steal everything from our lives but contentment not only preserves but also can multiply it to many folds.

The reason people tend to have greed is when they loose the sight of God and lack the revelation of God. One of the names of God is El-Shaddai, which means the one who nourishes, supplies, and satisfies, who abundantly blesses with all manner of blessings or the all-sufficient one. This God is revealed to us in Christ Jesus and this Christ Jesus is dwelling in every believer.  “For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete…”(Colossians 2:9,10a). When anyone is in Christ he is made complete in Christ and have received God’s complete fullness. God is to you, in Christ, EVERYTHING that you will ever need! This is a vital truth every Christian needs to catch in the spirit. Once this revelation is received there would not be any greed for anything but a desire to have more of Him because in Him is our fullness.

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