8 Bible Verses About Greed With Commentary

by Derek Hill on January 12, 2014 · Print Print · Email Email

Money and greed are talked about throughout the entire Bible.  In fact, Jesus talked about this issue more than any other, except for the Kingdom of God.  As humans, we start life as newborns in the state of rebellion.  We are born into sin and it only until Christ changes us that we become new.  Greed cannot be a part your life if you are a believer.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Let’s dive into scripture and see what the Bible says about greed.

Greed in Bible

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

1 Corinthians 6:10 – “nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

This is pretty straightforward.  You will not be received into Heaven if you practice greed daily.  This verse is talking to those who make these sins a lifestyle.  You and I make greedy choices from time to time and are forgiven when we ask for it, but for those who are out only for themselves and use greed to establish their life will not inherit eternal life.

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

“Unjust” is defined as “characterized by injustice: unfair”. (Merriam-Webster dictionary)  This verse is speaking to those who acquire wealth and success through unfair means.  This can occur through many facets: sex, stealing, slandering, and any other means to get to the top.  Here is an example.  If you borrow money from a drug dealer and don’t pay him back, you most certainly will not live much longer.  This is a very extreme example, but it gets the point across.  The Bible says, “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” (Proverbs 13:11)

Psalm 37:21 – “The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.”

This verse refers to the man above with the drug dealer.  He is not going to pay the money back and he is a wicked man because of it.  Wickedness is a very powerful seed that can grow into a thicket of thorns around your heart.  It will squeeze out life, love and generosity if you let it grow.

Titus 1:7 – “For an overseer (Elder of the church), as God’s steward, must be above reproach.  He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain.”

This is a “gut-check” for all who are in leadership in a congregation.  If you are involved in any of these sins as a life-style, you need to step down as an elder.  The Bible is clear on this.  God wants only those who are “above reproach” to be in these positions and for good reason.  The wicked heart cannot lead a faithful congregation.

Ephesians 4:18-19 – “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.”

Not only is greed sinful, but it leads to other problems.  The men and women in these verses have become “darkened in their understanding.”  They no longer comprehend real truth.  They have become “alienated from the life of God”.  That, my friends, is literally hell.  They have become “ignorant”.  They have become literally dumb.  Their hearts have become hardened.  Greed is a launchpad of disaster!

Matthew 23:25 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside are full of greed and self-indulgence.”

Many people look great on the outside.  They play the “game” well.  They dress up for church to look good.  They give to charity to look good.  They do good deeds to look good.  They serve to look good.  Do you understand where you are with the Lord?  Are you learning the Bible to clean you up from the inside out?  Are you doing things for the Kingdom or for your own fulfillment?  Any thing you do that is not for the glory of God is for your own glory and greed.

James 5:1, 4 – “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.  Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.”

If you have ever been cheated by someone because of greed, you can be sure that your cries and pleas to the Lord are heard.  God will avenge you, if not on earth then in the end.  God is with you through all things.  So, don’t be like the greedy, but live in the Spirit of humility, generosity and love.

2 Peter 2:2-3 – “And many will follow their (false prophets and teachers) sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed.  And in their greed they will exploit you with false words.  Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction will not sleep.”

My friends, without mentioning names, as I don’t intend to bring a debate from this article or to bash other humans, there are some big-time “preachers” and “teachers” leading people astray today, just as back in the days when this verse was written.  They promote huge events in poor countries in places like Africa to “help” people become better.  Then they leave filling their pockets with money and doing nothing good for the people.  They speak lies saying that God wants you to have an abundant life of wealth and happiness now.  If that were true, that most certainly would have happened to Jesus when He lived here.  He is the only One deserving of this because He was sinless.  What did he get?  He got berated, beaten, bruised, whipped, scorned, and crucified because of His faith in God and to wash us clean of our sin!  The gospel does not promise happiness and abundance.  It promises hard times, persecution and a life of giving up of yourself and taking up your cross daily to follow Jesus.  Make no mistake in who you follow.  Test what people say to you by looking at scripture for yourself.  You cannot ride the coattails of someone else into Heaven.

Conclusion

Greed is found in many places in the Bible and the evidence is clear.  Greed is a sin and Heaven will not have room for those who make greed a lifestyle.  Do a gut check today.  Are there things that you may be stingy with that need to be taken care of?  God bless you as you continue to live a life worthy of the calling!

Related Reading: Christian Stewardship Advice: 7 Tips for Handling Money

Resource – “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”



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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Patricia Schneider January 13, 2014 at 5:15 am

Hello, Derek!
Another terrific article with Scriptures you’ve written!
Question: Is liking material things the same as greed, or is
that just being “of the world” vs. “of God”?
Not sure I’m even asking this right. I have a loved one who wants nothing but the best, very materialistic (and in debt up to her eyebrows, her husband’s the same.)
This precious loved one has finally begun to seriously ponder about what it is to be a Christian. (YAY! Father has opened a crack into her heart, answering my prayers for her!!!)
It’s too soon to discuss this in detail w/her. I’m just asking how would you address someone’s lavish lifestyle? As a sin?

God’s wonderful blessings and graces be showered upon you, Derek, and your children!
Love, your Sis in Christ Jesus ~ Patty

Reply

Derek Hill January 13, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Hey Patty! It’s been a while! Thank you for your kind words as always. There is nothing wrong with liking material things, but if these things become a bigger priority then God then there is a problem. Here are a couple verses you can think about and maybe show your friend when the time is right.

Proverbs 22:7 – “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” When in debt you are actually a slave to the lender. That is why it is so stressful when you have accumulated much debt.

Luke 14:28 – “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” These wise words of Jesus are pointing us to have everything ready before building or buying things. If you wait and save first, then you can pay the full amount with no interest added. You may want that big tv now, but it will cost you much more in the end if you use the credit card to buy it.

The bottom line is that debt is never good. You pay more money than what the item is worth in the end. You stress over how much you owe. This is just bad all around.

It’s good to hear from you Patty! I hope all is well with you and your family! God bless!

Reply

Patricia Schneider January 13, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Thanks so much for answering my question, Derek, and so quickly, too!
I understand now….the main point to NOT put anything in your life BEFORE GOD. That part alone IS a sin. Well, a person would be totally lost if he/she didn’t have our Father in his/her life, and no eternal salvation in God’s Kingdom, Heaven. Am I correct here?
Boy, do I KNOW the ‘trap’ of credit cards! When Gary & I were first married we had 4 credit cards at one time. Thanks to Jesus’ Holy Spirit for guiding us to be rid of this absurd debt.
We have only one now, originally for ‘emergencies.’ Yet, it got out of hand quickly. Will you pray for us, Derek, that in the next 2 years, this debt problem w/credit be paid off & that Gary & I learn how to budget better?
Great news, though! After 20-odd years, we were able to finally pay off our son’s, Chris, Educational loan! Also a hospital bill from early last year!! Plus, I’m now receiving Social Security benefits, which has brought in extra income!
Isn’t our Father simply WOW with His blessings & graces, Derek? In our almost 40 years of marriage (Sept. 14, 2014) Father has ALWAYS met our needs!!
ALL PRAISES, GLORY AND HONOR BE UNTO OUR FATHER GOD, HIS SON, JESUS, HIS HOLY SPIRIT!!!
Love, your Sis in Christ Jesus ~ Patty

Reply

Derek Hill January 20, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Yes Patty! You got it right. Anything that you place priority on more than God is an idol and is sin, and if someone does not know the Father, they will not inherit eternal salvation upon death. I will definitely pray for you and Gary as you defeating your problem of debt. I know God is with you and He will guide you through this! Blessings!

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Patricia Schneider January 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm

I meant to add…by accepting Jesus as your Savior, then you will have eternal salvation in God’s Kingdom, Heaven.

Reply

Derek Hill January 20, 2014 at 7:17 pm

That is correct! Once you accept Jesus into your life, you inherit eternal salvation and will see Him face to face in heaven…gives me chills of excitement!

Reply

David January 14, 2014 at 2:32 am

Derek, good article, much to think about here, Blessings, David Central Europe

Reply

Derek Hill January 20, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Thank you David. God bless!

Reply

David January 14, 2014 at 2:38 am

btw money is not the root of all evil, it`s the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil

Reply

Derek Hill January 20, 2014 at 7:19 pm

That’s right! Anything that we love more than God is sin: money, sex, job status…anything. Blessings!

Reply

Mr A Cotton January 18, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Well Greed is one of the deadly sins,and there are many examples of what people will do for money.
Greed evan goes up to the President of the United States Tricky Dicky Watergate,and the best part about it he did not evan go to prison for it.
The saying anybody will do anything for money evan kill someone.
If you offered me a million pounds to kill someone I am sorry I would not be able to do it.
What one man can to do to another is unbelievable it`s terrible.
No the wonder it`s one of Deadly Sins.
I am not quite sure but Jesus didn`t say having money is a sin or wrong. I know He called it that Tainted Thing
I must admit I was materialistic when I was younger,but that sharp stopped.
It leads you to other deadly sins Murder,and I find that very hard to understand to kill someone for money. Yes I quite agree with you Derek.

Reply

Derek Hill January 20, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Hey Mr Cotton! It’s been a while. It’s great to hear from you brother! Yes, what it boils down to is if you love money more than God, than money becomes an idol to you and it is sin. You are right. People do the craziest things over money. It is really sad. Thank you for your insight on this. God bless!

Reply

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