The Price Of Greed…

Elisha cured Naaman of his leprosy, but he didn’t want any of Naaman’s money. Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, thought that Naaman got off too light. Gehazi saw all that money and got greedy…

After Naaman had traveled some distance, 20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”

21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked.

22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’”

23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left.

25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”
“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.

26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow. (2 Kings 5:19-27)

Many years ago, my wife and I were in Amway for a while. We were presented a “dream“, a “dream” of material-success. We were encouraged to go out “dream-building“, to look at homes in nice neighborhoods, to look at cars that cost more than our home, to look at “things” that screamed “conspicuousconsumption“, to build a “dream” based on GREED. Those things struck us as being “empty“, “hollow” and “shallow“. We would be building our success based on helping other people become “successful“, but we saw it as fueling our GREED by fueling the GREED of others. We weren’t “built” that way. We refused to sacrifice who we are on the altar of GREED. GREED has a price, a price we weren’t willing to pay. We refused to use other people as stepping-stones to our own success.

People were created to be loved.
Things were created to be used.
The reason why the world
Is in chaos is because things are being loved
And people are being used.

Greed says “I will never have enough!”
Contentment says “Thank you Lord for my daily bread. I have everything I need.”

Naaman (MY Way…) had everything except his health, and he got that back too. Gehazi had everything he needed, including his health, but when he got greedy, he got what he wanted, material possessions, but he lost something far more valuable – his health.

I am finding that the older I get, the less I need. My “home” is 22 years old and suits my needs very well. I have friends who live in newer motorhomes that will never be paid-for because they had to sign 30-year mortgages to buy them. One couple lost both of the air-conditioners on their “older” (2006) motorhome within a few days of each other. She was whining about how “old” their motorhome is. They don’t pay for rent or electricity, and even their golf-cart is provided because he is on staff. Another couple is going to spend part of their vacation at the factory where their motorhome was built getting some warranty-work done. Theirs is also less than ten years old. Oh, and mine is paid-for. I don’t begrudge either of these couples what they have, because they have worked their entire lives for it. Both men served in the military for over twenty years each, so they have paid their dues, but sometimes having “more” means having more problems. Just because it is out there doesn’t mean that I have to go out and get it for myself.

I have “enough” because God has given me “enough“, and I am thankful for it. Contentment brings thanksgiving. GREED fuels the perpetual striving for MORE. Is it worth the price?

In Christ,
Steve

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2 thoughts on “The Price Of Greed…

  1. This article reminded me of a poem I wrote that failed somehow to get into my last poem book, but will be in the next one….

    REDEEMING DEADLY SINS

    Our avarice denies the Lord
    By holding back what it can hoard.
    And covetousness wants to own
    The world of things its eyes have known.
    The endless lust for more, from greed,
    Forever takes more than its need.

    But generosity befriends
    The lonely poor by what it lends.
    And gratitude is happy for
    The gifts of God within its door.
    Contentment looks at all its stuff
    And says, “That’s more than quite enough!”

    —David L. Hatton, 1/16/09
    (to be in Poems Between Here and Beyond)

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