What Does The Bible Say About Greed


The Bible has a lot to say about greed and it’s considered one of the most serious of the Seven Deadly Sins. In scripture, it’s defined as a “consuming longing” for possessions and an insatiable desire for wealth and material gain. Greed is also described as a longing to be exalted and admired above others, and a refusal to accept one’s share of possessions or rewards. The Bible warns against the dangers of greed and the consequences of it. It provides us with a roadmap to a better life, by teaching us how to avoid the pitfalls associated with it.

The Roots of Greed

The root of greed starts with wanting to satisfy our desires – and in some cases, having an unrealistic expectation of what we may attain in life. The Bible is clear that making an effort to support ourselves and our families is godly and noble, but greed crosses the line when we start becoming possessive and envious of what others have. In Proverbs 28:25 it reads, “The greedy stir up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.” This proverb warns us against the forces of greed and suggests that only those who trust in the Lord and remain humble will be blessed.

Finding Balance

Greed can drive a wedge between people. It’s often linked to jealousy and envy and can lead to acts of dishonestly, exclusion and exclusion of others. Our lives are a delicate balance and should be weighed against the balance of what God is calling us to do. Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 reads; “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity. When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?” The passage is a reminder that money and possessions cannot truly satisfy us and our efforts will be in vain if they are not used in a godly manner.

Consequences Of Greed

Greed often leads to a cycle of obsession and deprivation. Instead of contentment, there’s a never-ending cycle of getting and losing. The Bible warns against the consequences of greed in 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” The scripture makes it clear that desiring material possessions that are not rightfully ours can lead to an unfulfilled life. Only by replacing greed with a spirit of generosity can we experience true joy and fulfillment.

What the Bible Says About Greed

The Bible teaches us that God desires us to use our resources with generous and merciful hearts. Proverbs 14:30 says, “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” When we deny someone what they need due to greed, we are committing an act of injustice- an affront to God Himself.
The Bible also teaches us to be content with what we have. Philippians 4:11-12 reads, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” When we learn to be content with our lot, we will be satisfied with even the most meager means.

Coping with Greed

Fading out the raging impulse of greed requires laser focus and discipline. It requires a self-discipline that is fueled by an unshakeable trust in God. We must remember that seeking a better life is not wrong, but we should seek it in a way that honors Him. We must replace the craving for more with a shining light of gratitude for what we do have.
We must also work to unclutter our lives. This means clearing out physical items, such as random trinkets or excess clothes, as well as mental clutter, like old habits or feelings of inadequacy. Removing clutter from our lives simplifies our focus, allowing us to direct our attention and energy to what matters.

Overcoming Greed

Overcoming greed requires gaining perspective. Recognizing the Lord’s blessings and thanking Him is an effective way to avoid the constant pull of greed. In Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 it reads, “Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.” The message here is to accept our present situation, be grateful for it, and enjoy it.
Another way to combat greed is to practice stewardship. We must be faithful stewards over what God has given us, and use all of our blessings responsibly. 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 reads, “Let each one do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.”

Tithing As An Act Of Generosity

Tithing, or giving back 10% of our income, is a sure-fire way to combat feelings of greed and selfishness. It’s an acknowledgment that all of our blessings come from God and are meant to be shared with others. Malachi 3:10-11 reads, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Tithing shows us that when we return a part of our blessing to Him, He will use it to bless us and others.

Giving Selflessly

Desiring reward and recognition for our giving and generosity is contrary to the spirit of selflessness that God asks of us. Acts 20:35 reads, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” The Bible urges us to reach out to those in need, without requiring anything in return- an act of pure selflessness.

Living Generously

We can choose to live selflessly by living generously and thankfully. In Contrast to greed, generosity is the practice of kindness and thoughtfulness towards others. It’s not just a physical act but also a state of mind. Luke 6:38 reads, “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” This passage reminds us that God rewards those who are generous with their resources.

Sacrificial Giving

Sacrificial giving is a particular form of giving in the Bible which goes beyond generosity and requires an extra bit of faith and trust in God. It requires giving without expecting anything in return and placing our trust in the Lord to replenish us. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 reads, “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” The scripture reveals that our ability to give cheerful and sacrificial gifts are directly linked to our trust in God’s will and providence.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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