Food for Thought: Beware of Greed
by Ardith Hoff
A big, burly man visited the pastor's home, a woman well known for her charitable impulses. "Madam," he said in a broken voice, "I wish to draw your attention to the terrible plight of a poor family in this area. The father is dead, the mother is too ill to work, and the nine children are starving. They are about to be evicted from their home and turned out into the cold. They will be on the streets soon unless someone pays their rent. I hope you or your congregation can help this poor family."
"How terrible!" Exclaimed the pastor. "May I ask who you are?"
The sympathetic visitor put his handkerchief to his eyes. "I'm the landlord," he sobbed.
When we are greedy, we often want things that we don’t really even need. We all have basic human needs that we have to satisfy every day. These are listed as: air, water, food, shelter and sleep. Beyond that there are emotional needs such as security, variety, purpose, acceptance and growth. These may seem like lesser needs, but are important to our quality of life and provide the motivation for wanting to keep living.
In a developed society, our physical needs can usually be met by staying healthy and working. Emotional needs, on the other hand, depend on having good relationships. We gain security by knowing that there is someone who is always there to keep us safe. We gain variety by having others who can stimulate our curiosity. We gain purpose by attending to the needs of others. We gain acceptance in a family or group to which we feel we belong, and we grow by learning and changing in positive ways. These are all necessary for us to feel satisfied.
There might be other ways to meet our emotional needs, but active participation in a religious community may be the best way to help ourselves fulfill most of them and help us feel happy and content.
“If they obey and serve the Lord, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.” Job 36:11