Greed is all around us. It is constantly in the headlines. We have seen Ponzi schemes and many other ways people cheat other people. The dictionary describes greed as an “intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.”* We see warnings against greed scattered throughout the Bible. Some are general and some are aimed at specific people. The bottom line is that greed destroys. It destroys those who are the victims of it, and it eventually destroys the greedy people themselves.
How does greed manifest itself in a marriage? I recently watched interviews with the family of a man who ran a Ponzi scheme. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison after a massive scheme that cost investors billions of dollars. What captivated me was the devastation done to his family. He had a wife and sons who trusted him. Not only did they trust him but they put him on a pedestal and never questioned him. His greed destroyed all that trust.
We can be guilty of the same thing, although on a different scale and a different stage. Often I see good men who truly loved their families get sidetracked by greed. The desire for power and wealth becomes their priority in life. Soon a marriage that had all kinds of promise is given a backseat to greed, and it is not long before it crumbles. I counseled a young teenage girl whose dad had gotten caught up in greed. He became rich. He could (and did) buy her anything she wanted. As we talked about her life, she told me she would give anything if her family could go back to the simple life they had before greed took over. She lost her dad and wanted him back. As I talked to the girl’s mother, I heard the exact same story. Unfortunately, he had created a treadmill that he could not—or would not—get off.
Greed is a heart issue. It happens when we crowd God out and put ourselves in His place. What we want takes the place of what God wants. I guess if we really look deeply at it, there are two issues: One is selfishness and the other is trust. Selfishness is always putting yourself first—in front of God, spouse, kids. Trust is believing that God’s plan for your life is the best and not getting in His way.
I would encourage you to let God take a long, penetrating look at your heart. Let Him in and let Him remove any hint of greed that is there. You will be better off. Your family will be better off. It is a bold step, but it will return incredible results.
Dr. Kim’s new book, 7 Secrets to an Awesome Marriage, will help you overcome greed in your marriage and move it forward like you never dreamed possible.
*Source: Oxford Dictionary Online, s.v. “greed,” accessed July 13, 2015, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/greed.