UNDERSTANDING GREED


William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

Greed is the universal requisite of natural man. It is his sinful nature, manifesting itself repeatedly, and often.
Greed may be likened to the grease that keeps the wheels of insatiable desire turning. It is the sinful motivation of natural man to create an elusive, indefinable, apex of life that cannot satisfy or be perpetuated due to the deterioration of all things, and the brevity of earthly life. Greed is soundly condemned in the pages of Holy Writ. From its description of ultimate selfishness in Psalm 17:12, and Proverbs 1:19 to its marked prohibition in pastors and deacons in I Timothy 3 to the woes pronounced upon the perishing in Jude 1:11, the Holy Word underscores its wickedness.
Dreamers of an ultimate, human heaven on earth of their own making have led men far afield from the best government ever experienced on earth: Theocracy! The Hebrews knew this in their liberation from Egyptian slavery, the wilderness wanderings, and possession of the Promised Land. But greed led them to reject their government. They wantonly lusted after the monarchial form established by godless nations around them, with the human glory and personal gain it could bring.
So, over the millenniums of time men ever searched onward for their zenith of a utopia on earth. From monarchial, to oligarchical, to fascist dictatorship, to communism and socialism they dream and work on. It is somewhat interesting though that there is a form of government that stands out as superior to them all. It is capitalism! Communism and socialism purport to equalize the standards of men, stifling the baseness of greed. Only trouble is, it does not work because all men are greedy. So the populace is forced into poverty while the rulers bask in luxury; the ill-gotten product of their greed. Soon the system breaks down as history consistently shows.
On the other hand, Capitalism plays to the greed of men, allowing a free market place and a republic form of democracy restricted to protecting those tenants. It works well for all because it encourages entrepreneurship. Men may work and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Is it a perfect form of government? No, by far, it is not, but it is the best the world has to offer as its continued success testifies. Is greed good? Certainly not, but greedy is what sinful men are. 
One day, heaven will rule on earth. Then and only then will men realize their fullest potential, and appreciate what a perfect government can do and be for them. But sadly, even the millennial reign of Jesus will ultimately be rejected by sinful men to their own eternal punishment. What follows is a new heaven and a new earth; a new city of complete perfection for God’s people. Now that is what should be the desire and preparatory work in the heart and mind of everyone.

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