On Overcoming Avarice

That’s a word you don’t hear much these days–avarice. I actually looked up definitions to assure myself that I knew what it meant.

John is on step 16 (out of 30) of his “Ladder of Divine Ascent”. Want a sneak peek at the end? We arrive at discernment, stillness, prayer, and faith, hope, and love.

He devoted many pages to discussing fornication. The discussion of avarice is brief. Maybe greed wasn’t as rampant in those days. Perhaps limited to only a few?

Avarice isn’t just greed–it’s defined as extreme greed.

A miser meets a charitable man. Later the miser says the charitable man lacks discernment.

I have run into people like the miser. Have you? Someone who mocks living generously.

Beware saying you are generous and then acting otherwise. I’m surprised John doesn’t bring in the example from the first days of the church–Ananias and Sapphira. Where they told the church they gave all the proceeds of the sale of their property to the fellowship, yet they held some back.

The sin was lying. Lying exposed greed. Greed exposes idolatry. Idolatry places material things above spiritual. It says God is not all powerful and I had best place some of my trust elsewhere.

Developing a generous heart and giving your wealth however much that may be is difficult. It is also an essential step toward living the with-God life.

As I’ve said before, it’s not your belief that makes you better, it’s your behavior.

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