Greed is all around us. It is constantly in the headlines. We have seen ponzi schemes at a level we never imagined possible, The dictionary describes greed as, “intense and selfish desire for something, esp. wealth, power, or food.” We see warnings against greed scattered through 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 person themself.
How does greed manifest itself in a marriage? I recently watched interviews with the family of Bernie Madoff. Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison after a massive ponzi scheme that cost investors billions of dollars. What captivated me was the devestation done to his family. He had a wife and sons that trusted him. Not only did they trust him, they put him on a pedistal and never questioned him. Madoff’s greed destroyed all of that.
We can be guilty of the same thing, although on a different scale and a different stage. Often I have seen good men who truly loved their families get sidetracked by greed. The desire for power and wealth became their priority in life. Soon a marriage that had all kinds of promise is given a back seat 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 girls mother, I heard the exact same story. Unfortunately he had created a treadmill that he could not or would not get off of.
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. It 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. You wife and kids will be better off. It is a BOLD step but it will return incredible results.