Scripture: Luke 6:30-36; 1Timothy 6:6-10
During the season of Lent, we are doing a sermon series called Seven, where each week we will be examining one of the seven deadly sins and pairing it with its counterpart found among the seven cardinal virtues. Last week we talked about sloth and diligence. On Sunday we will be talking about the deadly sin of greed and the cardinal virtue of charity.
Greed has the ability to short-circuit your moral compass. Greed is almost like a virus in our bodies. Greed can infect you without you even realizing that it’s happening. It gets inside your system and slowly, over time, it makes you increasingly sick, until eventually, that’s all you can think about. To me that sounds a lot like the flu. It comes on slowly at first. You have a cough, your nose begins to run, you feel a little tired. Then, when the fever hits, it controls your life.
The problem is that, unlike the flu, we don’t often see greed as being all that negative. Indeed, I think a lot of us believe that our own selfish ambition is often what motivates us to do a good job, so a little bit of greed isn’t bad, right? But I would argue that, from God’s perspective, greed is a bad motivation. Greed creates a certain kind of blindness in human beings where we lose empathy for the plight of our brothers and sisters.
Jesus says, “Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.” How many of us live according to Jesus’ words? How many of us give to everyone who begs from us? When I see someone who is homeless, I’ll drop a dollar or two, but I certainly don’t give to everyone who is homeless. Furthermore, I tend to want my stuff back if somebody takes it from me. So do I suffer from the blindness of greed? I would say that, yes, I do.
This Sunday we are going to explore how the blindness of greed affects all of us at some level or another and how charity is the medicine that cures that blindness. I hope your weekend is full of fun, family, and friends. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!