Greed Generosity and Gratitude

Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household, but he who hates bribes will live. Proverbs 15:27

Greed goes much further than money. A person can be greedy for money but also for fame, possessions, attention, compliments, gifts, another person’s time, and more. In the Bible, the words greed, greedily, greedy, and greediness are always used to describe the selfish motivation of a person.

Greed Definition

Google defines greed as an “intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food.” goes a little further in its explanation calling it ugly, insatiable, and gives us the origin of the word. “Greed come from the Old English graedig, or ‘voracious,’ which means ‘always hungry for more,’” they explained.

A person can be insatiably hungry for money but also for fame, possessions, attention, compliments, gifts, another person’s time, and more.

Greed is always self-centered and never satisfied.

Bible Verses about Greed

In the King James Bible, the words greedily, greedy, and greediness are always used to describe the soul motivation of a person.

Let’s look at what that soul motivation does to a person, and how God feels about it in both the King James Bible and other translations.

1. Greed Steals Life

“So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors.” (Proverbs 1:19 NAS)

“The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labor. He coveteth greedily all day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.” (Proverbs 21:25-26)

“The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.” (Proverbs 21:25-26 NIV)

2. Greed Does Not Love

“In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 22:12)

“‘In you they have taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and profits, and you have injured your neighbors for gain by oppression, and you have forgotten Me,’ declares the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 22:12 NAS)

3. Greed Is Destructive

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” (Jude 11)

“How horrible it will be for them! They have followed the path of Cain. They have rushed into Balaam’s error to make a profit. They have rebelled like Korah and destroyed themselves.” (Jude 11 GWT)

4. Greed Is Insensitive

“Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” (Ephesians 4:19)

“Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.” (Ephesians 4:19 NIV)

5. Greed Ruins Families

“He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.” (Proverbs 15:27)

“The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live.” (Proverbs 15:27 NIV)

6. Greed Corrupts Leaders with Self-Centeredness

“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.” (Isaiah 56: 10-11)

“Like ravenous dogs, they are never satisfied. They are shepherds with no discernment; they all turn to their own way, each one seeking his own gain.” (Isaiah 56:11 BSB)

What is the cure for greed?

If you discover greed in your heart, don’t despair. Greed comes naturally to humans. This can be easily seen by watching children and why we need to teach them to share


Fostering a giving and generous heart will drive greed out of our hearts by the power of the love of God. Sharing is the cure. Giving and being generous.

“If we have all we need and see one of our own people in need, we must have pity on that person, or else we cannot say we love God.” (1 John 3:17 CEV)

“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.” (1 Timothy 6:16-17 NLT)


“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” (Ephesians 5:3-4 NIV).

Money, fame, food, attention and all the things that greed chases after are not evil in and of themselves. God promised to give us richly all things to enjoy and Jesus said He came to give us abundant life. But this abundant life is not synonymous with more wealth, food, power, or things. Jesus warned in Luke 12:15, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Christians must repent from sin, including greed, and submit to God’s good, Holy Spirit, who will empower us to live righteous lives full of generosity and gratitude.

Questions To Ponder

What do you think it means to be grateful?

How do you think grateful people act?

How do you think ungrateful people act?

What do you think it means to be grateful?

What are some of the things you’re grateful for?

This Week’s Prayer:

Lord, give me a generous heart so that others may know Your love and compassion.

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