In the movie Wall Street, Michael Douglas’s character, Gordon Gekko’s famous speech included “……The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. ” What I believe he meant by that statement was that it is healthy for people to aspire to something more, want more, gain a better position, and be willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish that goal. It’s the “whatever” it takes aspect that is the topic of this section. And to add to greed, motivation, which is directly related to the heart’s desire.
What does the Bible say about greed? In Psalm 10:3 “For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord” and in Proverbs 1:19 So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners. In 1Timothy 3:3 one of the qualifications for a clergy is “not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous”. So it seems the Bible has a lot to say about greed, the cause of it, and what the end results will be. Curiously, Webster’s had only one definition for greed; Excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions. Rapacious, now that’s definitely an SAT word!
Other synonyms are; greedy, voracious (another SAT word), gluttonous, ravenous and insatiable. It doesn’t sound very good, nothing like it was so eloquently proclaimed by Gordon Gekko. Greed actually sounds rather crude, and selfish. Yes selfish which of course is also in stark contrast with the Word of God. Jesus tells us if we are to follow Him, we are to deny ourselves. In Matthew 16:24 Jesus says “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me”.
The Bible speaks of greed having an impact on one’s life, being wicked, and prohibiting the individual from serving in a position of Pastor, or Deacon. So why are some people greedy, or selfish? Mr. Gekko clearly was interested in wealth and power, at all costs. What motivates the average person to be greedy for wealth or possessions, as in Webster’s definition?
For the rest of the chapter, look for "Whose Money Is It?" sold on Amazon.
Is Greed Good or Bad?