In Colossians chapter three, at the end of verse five, we are told, “Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolator, worshipping the things of this world.” The first part of this verse is more well-known, listing habits that we are supposed to avoid (like immorality and lust), but when I read this verse this morning in my church service for “The Church of the Heavenly Light of Jesus Christ”, this last part of the verse really stood out to me on its own.
The King James version, which I read for my service, uses the word “covetousness” instead of greed, and it was that word that caught my attention as equated it with idolatry in that translation of the Bible. I really had to stop and consider this for a minute and it really sunk in how very true this is.
I realized that what this verse is saying hits home with all of us from time to time, when we look around us and desire the things that other people have. God is telling us through this verse that it truly is worship of worldly values when we crave things that other people have, and believe we have to have them for ourselves in order to be happy.
Christ teaches us throughout the Gospels that we need to look around us and see whom we can help that might be less fortunate than we are. He wants us to live lives of service to others, along with his commandments to love God with all our hearts, and love others as ourselves. He and God tell us over and over in the Bible that material goods and wealth are of no value in their Heavenly Kingdom and can only distract us from spiritual growth if we focus on accumulating them in this life.
Christ lived a life of austerity and poverty, giving up stability and material comfort to travel and preach to others about the kind of life that we must live if we want to attain and keep the Salvation that he offers us through repentance and forgiveness of sin. He suffered greatly to incarnate on earth and bring this message to us, and this verse is a great reminder that greed and covetousness are worship of material things in a secular world, and that these things have no value in the world of the spirit, where God and Christ dwell, and to which they want to bring us if we will accept Salvation through Christ and live by the principles that Jesus sacrificed so much to teach us.
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