More Than Needed
“Greed: a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed.” Okay, let us be honest. We all would be pretty stoked if we got extra money or extra clothes or more jewelry, right? Of course. It is very natural for us to get excited when we have more than we need.
We all want to be comfortable and have wiggle room to buy that new couch or move into that gorgeous loft downtown. But are we greedy based on that? No. Phew! Let out that breath you were holding. You are most likely fine.
If you think that you might be a little too close to being greedy than you would like, go through the definition again. First, do you want more of something than you need? If you are human, that answer is probably yes. Don’t panic. Now, is that desire excessive? Selfish? This might be a little harder to give an answer to. If we are all going to be honest here, I would say it is likely that your wish is selfish. But excessive is where the real shades of grey come in. So let us talk about what would make it excessive.
Let’s Talk Greed
One question to ask yourself is, “Is this desire distracting?” We all have moments where we wish we had more money or clothes or a fancier this or that. But do you think about it a lot. Do you think about it at work? Do you think about it when you are spending time with loved ones? Are you unable to live in the moment because you are thinking about how much more comfortable you would be if you had a better car or cuter boots?
If you answered yes (even begrudgingly) to any of these questions, you might be heading in a negative direction. Greed. And as with all the other deadly sins, diving too deep into greed will really mess up your life. You may start trying to work more to get more money which could affect your social relationships. If all your time is going towards making more money, your friendships and romantic relationships will certainly suffer. And being consumed by the desire for more will hinder your ability, if not completely destroy it, to recognize how much you already have.
Greed can also create a slippery slope into envy. If you are trying really hard to get more money or a better car or a large house and you see someone else who has all of that, you are definitely going to envy them and become bitter.
Everyone Knows It
Unlike the other sins, I believe that greed is probably felt by everyone at some point in their lives. It is just important to recognize it and do your best to turn it around. When I find myself thinking about all the things I want and wishing desperately that I had more money or a better house, I try to stop myself. Then I make myself think about all the things I am thankful for. So I realize that I have a lot more than most people and I certainly have a lot more than I used to. And the most important part is that I have what I need.
Sometimes it is really difficult to recognize the difference between what we want and what we need. Especially now, society tells us that we need more and that new things and more money will make us happier. They say that more money will open you up to more experiences and new people and that is where happiness is. While travel and new friendships can greatly add to the happiness of your life, it is important to recognize that money is merely a conduit and not the real thing giving you pleasure. True happiness is rarely caused by anything tangible. Also, a happy person will be happy in a studio apartment and in a beach-side mansion. They will be happy in 3-year old outfits and in the latest spring line.
If you are reading this, you probably have what you need. Thank God for all he has given you. Pray he takes care of your needs. And pray that he teaches you to be satisfied with the blessings you already have.
This post was first published almost a year ago. Given all that is currently happening across the world, we thought it was timely to republish. Hope you appreciated its questions and encouragement.
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