The very essence of
Deception, Envy and Greed
From the beginning of time until the present moment, some
people have been on an ungodly quest for money and power.
They're determined to use their gift of free choice
for their own selfish ends.
Whatever is worth most to us is what we worship.
For some, material possessions are elevated to the central place in their lives and
they give their possessions the attention only God deserves.
New misery is created every day, as some plunge to the brink of doom
in their attempts to build a lasting world with
monetary and material gods.
If we would re-examine our lives
to see where and how our time, allegiance, energy, and affection are spent
on a daily basis...
we could see whom or what we are truly worshiping.
The problem is not with money itself,
but with the (love)
"The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil."
I Tim. 6:10
Money and/or material possessions are not condemned in the Scriptures.
Money and possessions can do great good...
when used wisely and kept in the proper perspective.
The quarrel is with material gods...
NOT material goods.
Money is like manure;
it's not worth a thing unless it's spread around
encouraging young things to grow.
from "The Matchmaker"
(also called beguilement, deceit, bluff, or subterfuge)
is the act of convincing another to believe information
that is not true, or not the whole truth
as in certain types of half-truths.
Deception is a cruel act.
Deception often has many players on different stages.
distraction and/or concealment.
Deception is a lie reduced to practice.
In many cases it's difficult to distinguish Deception
from providing, unintentionally, wrong information.
Frauds and liars are always discovered, eventually,
and will pay for their actions accordingly.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive”
The people one steals from or takes advantage of...
might not see it right away,
God knows all,
God sees all,
and God will judge all.
A gullible person believes anything,
but a sensible person watches his step.
"A wolf in sheep's clothing"
has become a common metaphor for any hidden danger,
or for any enemy putting on a false display of friendship.
"A wolf in sheep's clothing" is
something harmful or problematic
disguised as something peaceful or pleasant.
According to the fable, a hungry wolf came upon a sheep's fleece lying on the ground in a field.
The wolf realized that if it wore the fleece, it would look like a sheep from a distance.
That would enable the wolf to sneak up on a flock of sheep and steal a lamb for its supper,
before the shepherd noticed his presence.
The wolf put on the fleece, and went off in search of a flock of sheep.
It spied a flock of sheep just as the sun was setting, and approached the flock.
Just as it was about to pounce on a lamb, a shepherd came by,
looking for a sheep to slaughter for supper.
Thinking the disguised wolf was a sheep, the shepherd quickly grabbed and killed the wolf.
The evil doer often comes to harm
Satan is the master of deceit.
Some mediocre people resent the achiever. They become
furiously jealous because of the achiever's unusual ability.
They feel threatened and will go into misdirected
quests to create obstacles, dead-ends, and roadblocks for others.
God has blessed each of us with such wonderful gifts,
talents, and abilities. Each of us is unique, called by God
for different tasks and ministries. Sadly, the envy monster
cannot see the forest for the trees.
“But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts,
do not boast and lie against the truth.
This wisdom does not descend from above,
but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
For where envy and self-seeking exist,
confusion and every evil thing are there.”
Envy (also called invidiousness)
may be defined as an emotion that "occurs when a person
lacks another’s (perceived) superior quality, achievement,
or possession and either desires it or wishes
that the other lacked it."
that results from an upward social comparison
another person has something that the envier considers
to be important to have.
Envy looks with ill-will toward another.
If the other person is perceived to be similar to the envier,
the aroused envy will be particularly intense,
because it signals to the envier that it just as well
could have been he or she who had the desired object.
Envy looks through a microscope.
It wishes to inflict misfortune on others.
Envy is our least becoming quality.
It is one of the most potent causes of unhappiness.
If we compare ourselves with others
we can become consumed,
vain and bitter by our own passion.
“Envy eats nothing but its own heart”
The fastest way to despair is by going to the land of
comparisons and Envy.
Most of the time we Envy one quality about a person,
and we presume the rest of their qualities are as perfect
as the one we want. That's usually not the case.
Comparing one's insides with another's outsides
is a waste of precious time.
Instead of comparing our lot with that of those
who may appear more fortunate than we are,
we should count our blessings and be the best we can be.
It takes a lifetime to do this.
Jealousy fears to lose what it has;
Envy is pained at seeing another have.
Joseph had a difficult journey.
This young man was hated for being the object of his father’s affection
and for having a gift that was given to him by God.
When he shared his dream with his brothers,
he was not trying to set himself above his brothers.
He was simply sharing and hoping that
he was going to receive clarity about his dream.
Joseph's brothers did not like his dreams
because they thought Joseph felt he was better than they were.
They hated him even more.
Joseph was so focused on how great his dreams were for him,
he did not begin to consider how the dreams would sound
in the ears of others.
Have you ever been in a place like this?
A place where you were not trying to brag or boast,
but you simply needed clarity?
In ancient times, dreams were a serious matter,
treated with respect.
God often used dreams to tell of some future event,
or warn people of approaching times of crisis.
Those who were able to interpret dreams quickly
rose to positions of importance within the empire.
So as the story goes...
a few days later Joseph's father asked him to check on his brothers.
They were in the fields quite a distance away.
So Joseph went to find them.
When the brothers saw Joseph in the distance,
they knew him by his bright garment;
and one said to another:
"Look, that dreamer is coming!
They began to talk to each other about how they could get rid of him.
Come, let us kill him, and throw his body into a pit,
and tell our father that some wild beast has eaten him;
and then we will see what becomes of his dreams."
When Reuben, Joseph's oldest brother, heard this he felt more kindly toward Joseph.
He said, "Let's not kill him, just throw him in a well out here in the field."
He said this because he was secretly planning to come back and rescue Joseph
when the other brothers had left.
So when Joseph came to them,
they took off his beautiful robe
and they threw him in an empty well.
The brothers must have had a perverse pleasure
as they ripped it off Joseph,
and it must have been particularly painful for Joseph
to have it torn off him.
The heartless character of these brothers is clear -
they could eat a meal with Joseph nearby in the pit.
They could sit down and enjoy food
while their hearts were bent on murdering their brother.
A little while later a group of traders came by
that were wanting to sell some things in Egypt.
One of the brothers spoke up,
"Why don't we sell him to these people,
this way we never have to see him again,
and we don't have to kill him."
The other brothers liked this idea,
so they sold Joseph to the traders
who were going to Egypt.
They put Joseph’s dreams to the ultimate test.
If the dreams really were from God,
they would not be defeated by the hatred of the brothers.
Unfortunately Reuben had been working
and hadn't seen what happened.
When he returned to the well he noticed that Joseph was gone.
He had been sold to an important man named Potiphar,
an assistant to the Pharaoh of Egypt.
As the eldest, Reuben could have simply said to his brothers,
“This is wrong! We can’t do this!”
Reuben wanted to do right by Joseph,
but did not want to alienate his brothers.
His desire to be nice to everyone
failed to prevent a great evil.
The rest of the brothers took Joseph's beautiful robe
and dipped it in animal blood
and took it back to their father.
When the father saw this he cried,
"Some animal has killed my son."
And he cried for many days,
so much that nobody could comfort him.
All the brothers kept silent about the truth.
Sometimes things/people in life that are closest to us
can misunderstand our intentions
and try to cause us to go under.
If only Joseph’s brothers would have been more discerning
as opposed to jealous,
they would have known that they had the same gift as Joseph.
Jealousy can be blinding.
Afterwards, Joseph was escorted to Potiphar’s place.
Joseph started out as a slave,
but God was with Joseph and He helped him do everything right.
So Potiphar made him his helper,
and put him in charge of everything that he owned.
Joseph, later, found himself entangled in a mansion trap
with Potiphar’s wife.
Potiphar's wife was the "Cougar" of her day.
She tried to seduce Joseph,
but Joseph rejected the overtures of Mrs. Potiphar.
In turning to run from her room
Potiphar's wife pulled and ripped the outer garment
away from Joseph's shoulders.
Potiphar's wife lied about Joseph to her husband,
so Potiphar had Joseph put into jail.
Occasionally, as we climb up the next rung of the ladder
we may encounter weak steps
that will try to cause us to fail and fall.
This was clearly an attempt
for Joseph to do both.
We are not hopeless... unless we abandon hope.
After Joseph had been in jail for some time
a cup bearer and baker to Pharaoh had been sent there.
One night each of them had a dream.
They told their dreams to Joseph
and he told the cup bearer that he would soon be let out of jail.
"Please tell Pharaoh about me,
and ask him to get me out of here." Joseph said.
When the cup bearer was freed he forgot about what Joseph did.
So Joseph stayed in jail for two more years.
Until one day the Pharaoh had a dream,
and nobody could explain it to him.
The cup bearer then remembered what Joseph had done for him,
and Joseph was brought to Pharaoh.
"Can you understand dreams?" Pharaoh asked.
"I can't, but God helps me." Joseph replied.
After Pharaoh told him his dream Joseph explained,
"God is warning you.
There will be seven years when nothing will grow
and there won't be any food for anyone."
"What can I do?" Pharaoh asked.
"God has shown you what to do.
There will be seven years before the bad years
that will be very good.
So good that there will be extra food for everyone.
So you should save a little bit of each years harvest,
that way you will have enough to get you through the bad years,"
Pharaoh believed all that Joseph told him,
and made him governor of all the land of Egypt.
God was still with Joseph in jail.
The warden put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners.
Joseph never worried because God was with him
and helped him do everything right.
Joseph organized the land and set up a system for collecting grain.
The seven years of plenty soon passed by, and then came the years of need.
In all the lands around people were hungry,
and there was no food for them to eat; but in the land of Egypt everybody had enough.
Most of the people soon used up the grain that they had saved:
many had saved none at all, and they all cried to the king to help them.
"Go to Joseph," said King Pharaoh, "and do whatever he tells you to do."
Then the people came to Joseph,
and Joseph opened the storehouses,
and sold to the people all the grain that they wished to buy.
And not only the people of Egypt came to buy grain,
but people of all the lands around as well,
for there was great need and famine everywhere.
And the need was as great in the land of Canaan,
where Jacob lived, as in other lands.
Jacob was rich in flocks and cattle, and gold and silver;
but his fields gave no grain,
and there was danger that his family and his people would starve.
And Jacob,—who was now called Israel also,—
heard that there was food in Egypt, and he said to his sons:
"Why do you look at each other, asking what to do to find food?
I have been told that there is grain in Egypt.
Go down to that land, and take money with you,
and buy grain, so that we may have bread, and may live."
People came from all countries to buy grain from Joseph,
because the whole world was in need of food.
Some of those people were Joseph's brothers.
They did not know him, as a grown man, dressed as a prince,
and seated on a throne.
It had been almost twenty-three years since they had sold him,
but Joseph knew them all, as soon as he saw them.
He resolved to be sharp and stern with them, not because he hated them,
but because he wished to see what their spirit was,
and whether they were as selfish, and cruel,
and wicked as they had been in other days.
They came before him, and bowed, with their faces to the ground.
Then, no doubt,
Joseph thought of the dream that had come to him while he was a boy,
of his brothers' sheaves bending down around his sheaf.
He spoke to them as a stranger, as if he did not understand their language.
After a few meetings with his brothers he could not keep it in any longer
and Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father alive?"
But his brothers couldn't answer him because they were afraid.
Then Joseph said, "Come here. I am your brother, the one you sold!
Do not worry, and do not be angry at yourselves for selling me,
because God has put me here to save people from starving."
So his father, his brothers,
and their families came to live in Egypt with Joseph,
and they had all the food they needed.
There was an obvious change in Joseph’s life.
Joseph went in as a slave,
but his unique, God-given ability to interpret dreams
brought him out as a governor.
He went from rags to riches in literally one day!
Joseph’s God-given ability to interpret dreams
allowed him to “Enlighten” Pharaoh
and Joseph’s situation was “Enlivened” by God.
Paraphrased by Carole C. Good - Based on Genesis 37
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good
to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose."
Beware of salivating over someone else's situation.
“Envy shoots at others and wounds itself”
Rather than envying another's good fortune;
why not emulate the hard work, guts and perseverance
that helped them earn it.
Greed is insatiable grasping. Greed always wants more.
Greed wrecks relationships, stresses the heart, and sears the
soul. It is a vicious merry-go-round that never stops.
We exist in a kind of void, in which individualism
flourishes, and narcissism, ego, materialism, the pursuit of
self, wealth, status and greed are ever present.
Greed is the excessive or rapacious desire and pursuit of
money, wealth, and power.
It is based on incorrectly- connecting material wealth with happiness.
Greed is a bottomless pit.
For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
“We must picture hell as a state where everyone is perpetually concerned about
his/her own dignity and advancement, where everyone has a grievance, and
where everyone lives the deadly serious passions of envy, self-importance, and
resentment” (C. S. Lewis).
A selfish and excessive desire for more of something.
You can never get enough
of what you don't need
to make you happy.
There is sufficiency for our needs
but not for our greed.
Greed always wants more - a lot more.
Those who are greedy are ever in want.
They are stuck in an endless effort to be full of desire
without ever reaching satisfaction.
Greed always has an insatiable desire for more.
God provides enough to satisfy everyone's need.
Never let yourself be overcome by greed.
Money is a lousy way of keeping score.
Always remember and never forget:
Those who have nothing but the Lord
possess everything that matters.
No matter how high the mountain of security and
sophistication may be... when one's lifestyle denies God...
one will soon come to realize a desolate and empty life
filled with doom and destruction. When all is said and
done... people will always find that spirituality and faith are
what really satisfy.
"Whoever loves money never has money enough;
whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.
This too is meaningless."
One can be so seduced by the good life...
they become preoccupied with power.
They furiously race after the dollar and things so hard
that they lose themselves
and lose sight of what really matters.
May we reach for greatness
rather than greed.
We must rapidly begin the
shift from a "Thing- oriented"
society to a "Person-
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We consume more than our fair share of the world's resources.
CONSUMERISM is a social and economic creed that encourages us
to aspire to even more than that share... regardless of the consequences.
HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
We must never allow possessions to own us.
Food for Thought:
This is what Gandhi owned at the time of this death:
His two dinner bowls,
wooden fork and spoon,
the famous porcelain monkeys,
and two pair of sandals.
Gandhi's Seven Deadly Sins
Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi, one of the
most influential figures in modern social and
political activism, considered these traits to be
the most spiritually perilous to humanity.
- Wealth without Work
- Pleasure without Conscience
- Science without Humanity
- Knowledge without Character
- Politics without Principle
- Commerce without Morality
- Worship without Sacrifice
Dr. MArtin Luther King, Jr.:
When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are
considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism,
materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
One gets a foretaste of what hell will be like
every time they engage in acts of
Deception, Envy and Greed.
We tend to forget that happiness does not come as a result
of getting something we do not have, but rather of
recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
With every decision we make,
we take a step toward the likeness of our Creator
or a step away from Him.
What sorrow awaits those who go to great depths
to hide their plans from the Lord,
who do their work in darkness and think,
“Who sees us? Who will know?”
Can the pot say of the Potter,
“He knows nothing”?
The ruthless scoffers, pessimists, doubters, detractors, egoists, skeptics,
and disbelievers will vanish, the arrogant mockers will disappear,
and all who plot evil will be cut down—
those who with a word make an innocent man out to be guilty,
who ensnare the defender by their false testimony in court
and with false testimony deprive and destroy the innocent of justice
Money, positions, and possessions are lousy ways of keeping score.
Those who have nothing but God possess everything that matters.