Deception, Envy and Greed

One gets a foretaste of what hell will be like


every time they engage in acts of


Deception, Envy, and Greed.

The Scriptures are quite clear 


regarding sin being 


the root of all evil in the world.


Matthew 15:19, Romans 5:12, James 1:15

Sin is described, in the Scriptures,


as deceitful


(Hebrews 3:13: Mark 4:19).


Why?


 Because sin promises... 


what it cannot produce.

 

Sin promises life, but ends in death;


Sin promises ecstasy, but ends in misery;

 

Sin promises satisfaction, but ends in suffering.



Often we choose to be bamboozled by sin, 


desiring to trust its bogus assertions... 


rather than trusting God who owns and controls it all.


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.

Deception is the act of intentionally misleading 


someone to accept false, fraudulent, and invalid 


statements as true and/or valid. 


Satan, the originator and father of lies and deception


 is notorious for orchestrating such vile actions

Lies and deceit comes from


 many sources.


There are lying spirits who lead astray (1 Timothy 4:1);


there are “evildoers and impostors” looking for 


unsuspecting individuals (2 Timothy 3:13);


and if the truth be told...


our own hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). 



Self-deception is common in our fallen world.


Isaiah 44:20 speaks of an idolater who is misled by his 


own “deluded heart.” 


The prophet Obadiah identifies arrogance as one of the 


roots of self-deception: 


“The pride of your heart has deceived you”


(Obadiah 1:3).


 

Human pride always blinds us to truth.

 

It promises honor, but it delivers disgrace:

 

“Pride goes before destruction,

 

a haughty spirit before a fall” 


(Proverbs 16:18).

Happiness, peace of mind, and a good night's sleep


do not lie in wicked, deceitful ways.

Envy (also called invidiousness)


is one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. 


Envy is the deep and painful 


or often hostile resentment/emotion


one feels toward another who possesses something 


they want, like wealth, achievement, 


perceived superior quality, possessions, beauty, 


or any advantage enjoyed by another.

Envy tends to lust after or to long for, with great desire,


something that is not their property 


and not rightfully theirs to long after. 



As James 1:15 tells us, the inner person 


is where sin originates.


Envy sets its heart on things that belong to another.

At its root, coveting is the result of envya sin which,


once it takes root in the heart, leads to greater sins. 



Jesus reiterated this very thought in 


the Sermon on the Mount when He said 


that lust in the heart is every bit as sinful


as committing adultery 


(Matthew 5:28).


Envy goes beyond casting a longing glance 


at what another builds or buys.


Once dwelled upon, envy of another’s talents 


and/or possessions 


can turn to feelings of resentment and hatred 


for the other.

The New Testament identifies covetousness 


as a form of idolatry, 


a sin which God detests (Colossians 3:5).



 In the end, envy and covetousness 


are Satan’s tools to distract us from pursuing 


the only thing that will ever help us realize


peace, joy, and true contentment...


God Himself.

Those who are greedy are ever in want.


They are stuck in an endless effort to be full of desire


without ever reaching satisfaction.


There are many warnings in the Scriptures about 


embracing greed and yearning for riches.

 

Jesus warned, “Watch out!


 Be on your guard against


all kinds of greed;


a man’s life does not consist 


in the abundance of his possessions” 


(Luke 12:15).

Greed is an unreasonable, unnecessary, egotistical, 


insatiable longing, or entitlement for unneeded excess,


especially for more wealth, more status, more power, 


or more food.


Greed wants it all.


Greed gives rise to anger, delusion, and obsession.

 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.  

Greed and a desire for riches are traps 


that bring ruin and destruction.

Greed wrecks relationships, stresses the heart,


and sears the soul. 


It is a vicious merry-go-round that never stops. 

Greed is insatiable grasping to selfishly acquire 


or possess more than one needs. 


Greed always has an 


insatiable desire for more...


a lot more.

 According to Colossians 3:5, 


greed is a form of idolatry.

 One can be so seduced by the good life...


they become preoccupied with power.


They furiously race after the dollar and things...


that they lose themselves


and lose sight of what really matters.  

 May we reach for greatness


rather than greed.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,


 “No one can serve two masters, 


for either he will hate the one and love the other, 


or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. 


You cannot serve God and money”


 (Matthew 6:24). 


This verse comes at the end of a passage in which 


Jesus tells us to 


“Lay up treasures in heaven” (v. 19). 



Here, Jesus likens the “Love of money” to idolatry. 


He refers to money as a “master” we serve 


at the expense of serving God. 



We are commanded by God to have 


“No other gods” before 


the only true and living God 


(Exodus 20:3


the first commandment). 



Anything that takes first place 


in our lives 


other than our Creator, God 


is an idol and makes us guilty 


of breaking the first commandment.

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.

Fact:


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.

It is the love of money


not money itself, 


that is a source of all evil.


1 Timothy 6:10 



Wealth is morally neutral; 


there is nothing wrong with money, 


in and of itself, 


or the possession of money. 


However, 


when money becomes one's god 



and it is worshiped and adored.. 



that’s when incredible evil and


sin rears its ugly head.

"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. 

Deception is a cruel act.


Deception often has many players on different stages.


Deception involves concepts like propaganda.

 

distraction and/or concealment.


Deception is a lie reduced to practice. 

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.

The evil doer often comes to harm
 
through his own deceit. 
Satan is the master of deceit.

Satan's greatest deception 

is to lead us to believe 

that he is not Satan.

The very essence of

 

Deception, Envy, and Greed

 

is self-will.

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.

F.Y.I. 
  Jealousy fears to lose what it has; 
Envy is pained at seeing another have.

Joseph's Dream
 
 

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.

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 the robe off of 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. 

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2616/4198595202_0df7a9ae03.jpg

 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 the people in life

who 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?" 

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,"

Joseph said.

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 

http://insanelyserene.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/obsessive-thinking-d-sharon-pruitt.jpg
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.
 
 
 
    

 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.

What does God want? 

God wants to see Himself in us! 

With every decision we make,

we take a step toward the likeness of our Creator

or a step away from Him.  



Those who have nothing,

 but God ...

possess everything that matters.

May we always remember

 and never forget:

True happiness is not attained by things, 

but by a personal relationship with God.

 [email protected]

  www.carolecgood.com

   

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