The 7 Deadly Sins: Avarice

Notice the use of "abundant" or "abundance" in the following passages.
John 10.10
Luke 12.15-21

Abundance of possessions or abundant life? Which will we choose?

Greed: desires more and more
Covetousness: greed with jealousy (desiring what another has)
Avarice: an excessive desire to obtain and keep money or possessions. Hoarding.

Hoarding: News story of woman whose house is filled with stuff. Her bed is stacked with stuff. In the summertime she sleeps outside on a glider, because there is no room in her house. Her teenage son moved out to live with an older sister because he couldn’t stand it. She knows she has a problem. Her family knows she knows she has a problem.

When Randy worked with his dad building storage barns, they were hired to build a rather large barn for someone. Soon they were called back to build second and then a third. This man was literally building barns for his stuff!

Rich toward God
“He who dies with the most toys wins.” (Bumper Sticker)

How much is enough? “a little more than what you have.”

“The things we can grasp will not fully satisfy us when they are reached. …that which does satisfy us can be reached for, but never fully grasped.” –Mel Wheatley

Matthew 6.19-21 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth … But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven …

Reliance on God
Avarice is a sign that we don’t trust God to meet our needs. We store up because we don’t trust that there will be for tomorrow.

The Beatitudes – Blessed are the poor, the hungry, the thirsty … Someone rephrased them saying,
“You will never know that Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you’ve got.”

Matthew 6.25-26 Don’t worry about what you will eat or what you will wear. Look at the birds, "they do not … store away in barns." God takes care of them, how much more we will take care of us!

3 Types of Goods
Necessary – (bare necessities) food, clothing, shelter. [And these can go beyond the necessities: have you noticed how houses are getting bigger and bigger?]
Useful – things that make us more comfortable, tools that make our work easier and more efficient, books and art that enhance our growth and appreciation for life, enough entertainment and pleasure that provide healthy diversion from labor and routine.
Extra” (Luxuries) – What luxuries have become necessities?

Randy and I discuss whether we need bibliography software when we write our dissertations. For him it is useful. For me it seemed a luxury. Spouses may not always agree with the category.

Do we have money or does money have us? “Do we possess what we own or does what we own possess us?” -These are good heart check questions.

1 Timothy 6.10 Money is not evil. It is the "love of money" that is the "root of all kinds of evil."

“Earn all you can; Save all you can; Give all you can. -Wesley

As a Church, do we rely on God? Or do we hoard?

Learning to Love: Giving ourselves away
What is love? Jesus demonstrates love to us.

1 John 3.11,16-17

We learn to love by knowing the author of love, the one who not only demonstrates love, but is love. He doesn’t just have love, but love is his very essence. There is nothing in him that is not love.

As Jesus sacrificially gave his life for us, we are called to give our lives: to God and to others.

As we prepare for Communion, we come to this altar remembering that Jesus Christ was sacrificed for us. And we also come offering ourselves as a living sacrifice (Romans 12.1-2). The only way to overcome avarice in our lives is to give ourselves completely to God, so that we can begin to give ourselves and our resources to others.

Joleen Willis

Follower of Jesus. Wife. Mom. District Superintendent.

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