“Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,’” — Hebrews 13:5
Please read: Matthew 26:15; 1 Timothy 6:9-10; Luke 22:35; Luke 18:18-29; Matthew 19:21-24; Luke 12:15; 2 Corinthians 9:7
In the book Sinning Like A Christian, the author, William H. Willimon, writes that Biblical scholars have attempted to identify the motive for Judas’s betrayal of Jesus. Was Judas, “desperate to court the favor of temple authorities.” Was he a “revolutionary?” The author states that it was not “some high-flown theological principle. It was the money” (pages 95/96). Judas ... went to the authorities, and handed over his best friend to death” (page 110). For this act, Judas was paid 30 pieces of silver.
Was Judas motivated by money? We may never know. We do know he took the money and betrayed Jesus. We certainly could never imagine possibly betraying Jesus. As people committed to Christ, we are devoted to Him. However, this is a powerful Bible story that speaks to one of the 7 Deadly Sins, Greed.
Greed can be described as a selfish and excessive desire for more of something such as money, possessions or power. How do we measure up? Are we consumed with Greed? Do we seek more of everything?
Lent is a time for reflection and preparation. Therefore, this may be a good moment to consider what Jesus taught us about Greed. The Bible has a number of passages about Greed. For example, Luke 12:15 – Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Perhaps this Lenten Season is a good moment to pause and take a Greed check. How do our needs compare to our desires or wants? We don’t know about you but in our household we have too much stuff. There are multiple storage bins that fill the garage and closets. It’s a lot. Quite frankly we have more stuff than we will ever need or use. During our current sermon series, Pastor Abi has been talking with us about the 7 Deadly Sins and being virtuous. The virtue for Greed is Generosity. How can we as Christians do better balancing our needs and our wants to get to Generosity? See 2 Corinthians 9:7.
What can we do to be more generous with our time, talents, money and other resources? All are encouraged to consider this. We suggest it starts with prayer.
Prayer: Our Father, we take this time, to ask for your guidance on all things life. We know that Jesus is here with us. We pray that we can have the strength to do the right thing and lean toward Generosity and away from Greed. It is not easy. We ask that Greed not get in the way of our faith journey. We seek Generosity and ask that you take us down this path. In Christ name. Amen.
About Barry Barnard
Barry and Debbie Barnard are long-time members of St. Thomas UMC.