For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? Mark 8:36
Remember the scene from the 1971 Willy Wonka where Veruca Salt wanted that goose that laid the golden egg? We probably all muttered under our breath like Charlie, “Here we go again,” as Veruca made her demand. Her dad tried to placate her, tried to bargain with Wonka to get one of those geese. After her little song and dance, we hear her exclaim, “Don’t care how, I want it now!” as she went down the “eggdicator” chute.
The character demonstrates quite well what someone who is greedy and would go to any lengths to get what she wants. She’ll conspire. She’ll manipulate. She’ll cheat and lie to defraud for her gain.
As we are looking at each of the Commandments as we relate to each other, we protect the physical wellbeing, respect them in the context marriages, protect their stuff, protect their reputation (5th-8th Commandments).
And now we don’t cheat our neighbor out of his stuff. We don’t defraud him of what is his (9th Commnandment). Yet we find means in order to help him keep them. And we don’t do anything to lure and entice his family, employees, or any means of any living creature to leave him. But to stay put as needed. It is to support and encourage the wellbeing of the relationships already.
Social constructs today are much different than in the ancient times of the Old Testament, but these apply very well to us today. Don’t they? How do we conduct business? How do we go about getting what we need, and perhaps what we want? Honestly and fairly. Not at the expense of the other person.
There isn’t a moral limit to how much one has. But there is a moral obligation we have to not to accumulate at someone else’s expense. There is a moral obligation that with what we have accumulated we use to support those in need. How are we doing that, today?
As Scripture says, what in the end happens. Where is our trust? Is it in the accumulation of all that we wanted? Will we ever be content with that? Or do we want more?
Our response should be that, “We fear, love and trust God, so that…” and insert the way God would want us to treat each other and everyone we come to meet.
Our coveting behavior, a product of our sin-filled world, gets us into trouble. And it also reflects how we have been defrauded by the devil and enticed to walk away from God. We see where that has led us. Thanks be to Jesus that he has died on the cross and come back to life to free us from sin so we can return to God our Heavenly Father. Amen
Written by: Pastor Bartholomew