Greed is defined as a strong and selfish desire for possessions, wealth, power etc. It is an excessive desire for wealth, power etc for oneself without consideration for the needs of other people. Greed leads to covetousness which is having or showing strong desire to possess something especially something that belongs to someone else, hence, the person who is greedy is never contented with what he or she has in life.
Greed negates contentment. It is one of the vices that leads to man’s inhumanity to man as it can make a man go to any length to impoverish people, covet people’s means of livelihood or take peoples’ lives in the unwholesome quest actualization of personal desires. Greed runs contrary to Good neighbourliness and portrays lack of the fear of God, hence it could prevent one from entering the Kingdom of God.
Text: “Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness” – Ephesians 4:19.
Comment: In the text for today, St Paul, in his letter to the Christians at Ephesus spoke of the character of those who had not known God, and so had not had the benefit of being trained to abide by the restraints and limitations imposed by the laws of God. The Jews were the only people providing the example of right conduct among the nations, because of the laws of God which they had. Other nations outside the Jewish fold were called the gentiles. St. Paul said unconverted gentiles “walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart”, adding that having “past feeling (that is, having lost all feelings of restraint, or guilt) have given themselves over unto lasciviousness” – in other words, they are addicted to evil practices. He said Christians must avoid greediness, or the tendency, passion, excitement, or zeal, to indulge in sin. -Ephesians 4:17-19.
Greediness itself leads to stealing because the individual who has strong and excessive desire for wealth or possessions will obviously steal from people to satisfy his insatiable and unwholesome quest for material possessions. To this end, St Paul admonished the Ephesian Christians “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the things which is good that he may have to give to him that needeth. – Ephesians 4: 28.