Deception, Envy, and Greed.


One would think that the higher one reaches 


and the deeper one digs to discover their 


God-given gifts and talents, the more people,


 particularly those closest to us, would be 


excited and supportive. It's heartbreaking to 


discover that those closest to us... are 


sometimes the ones who dismiss our efforts. 



Worse, some will secretly plot against us in 


the desperate hope that we will fail.


Deception, Envy and Greed





The act or practice of deception is lying, 

misrepresenting, or otherwise concealing 

or distorting the truth.




Envy also costs us friends and allies, and


 it tempers, restrains, and destroys even our 


most intimate relationships. In rare 


circumstances, it can lead to sabotage, 


such as when a kid damages a toy that 


they know they cannot have.





"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," 


Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. 


"You can't serve both God and money."


6:24 Matthew


This verse follows a passage in which 


Jesus instructs us to 


"Lay up treasures in heaven."


In this passage, Jesus compares 


"love of money" to idolatry. 


He refers to money as a "master" that 


we serve instead of God.


God commands us to have 


"No other gods"


 before the 


One and Only True and Living God.


Exodus 20:3-4


Anything other than our Creator, God,


that takes precedence in our lives is an 


idol, and we are guilty of breaking the 


First Commandment.



Greed is defined as the selfish, extravagant, 


or greedy desire for more than is required. 


It is a strong and self-centered desire for 


something, most notably wealth, power, 


possessions, or food.

Some mercenaries have let greed 


triumph over their morals.






We could see who or what we genuinely worship 

if we analyzed our life on a daily basis to see where 

and how we invest our time, allegiance, energy, and 

affection.


Every time one engages in acts of


Deception, Envy, or



Greed...


they get a taste of 


what hell will be like.

The Bible makes it abundantly clear that 


sin is the source of all evil in the world.

Romans 5:12, Matthew 15:19, 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 delivers death; it promises 


excitement but brings misery; it promises 


satisfaction but brings suffering.



Some people frequently choose to be deceived by sin, 


believing its bogus claims... rather than trusting God, 


Who owns and controls everything.


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.

A deception or falsehood is an act or speech 


that misleads, conceals the truth, or promotes 


false belief, concept, or idea. It is frequently 


used for personal gain or profit. Dishonesty, 


propaganda, and trickery are all forms of 


deception, as are distraction, disguise, and 


erasure. There is also dishonesty, such as 


bad faith. It is also known as beguilement, 


duplicity, bait and switch, self delusion, 


farce, or concealment, depending on one's 


subjective interpretation.



Deception is a serious relational breach that


 frequently leads to feelings of betrayal and


 distrust between individuals. Deception is a 


negative violation of beliefs and a violation 


of relational principles.

Deception is the act of intentionally misleading 


someone to accept false, fraudulent, and invalid 


statements as true and/or valid. 


Satan, the father of lies and deception, is 


notorious for orchestrating such heinous acts.

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 come 


from evil, deceptive means.

Our culture of consumerism

emphasizes the material and 

tangible over the spiritual 

and invisible.


Envy is a restless sense of emptiness within oneself.


Envy is deeply ingrained in the human psyche and 

is universal across time and people.

 

Envy and jealousy are two distinct concepts.


Jealousy is possessive, whereas envy is covetous.



The distraction of envy and the dread of arousing 


it in others holds us back from achieving our full 


potential.



Envy has never been a greater issue than it is today. 

We are encouraged to compare ourselves to everyone, 

and the Internet and social media is notorious for

 fanning the flames of our envy


Envy



 One of the most powerful 


causes of unhappiness is envy 


(also known as covetousness). 



Envy is a deep and painful, often hostile


 resentment/emotion that one feels toward another


 who possesses something they want, such as


wealth, achievement, perceived superior quality,


 possessions, beauty, or any advantage enjoyed by


 another.

Envy tends to lust after or long for something that 


is not their property and is not rightfully theirs to


 long for.



According to  James 1:15, sin originates in 


the inner person. 



Envy sets its heart and sights on things that 


belong to someone else.

Coveting stems from envya sin that, once it 


takes root in the heart, leads to greater sins. 



In the Sermon on the Mount,


Jesus reiterated this point, saying that lust in


 the heart is just 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.

Covetousness is identified in the New Testament 


as a form of idolatry, a sin that God detests. 


Colossians 3:5


 Ultimately, envy and covetousness are tools used by  


Satan to distract and divert our attention away from 


the only thing that will ever bring us peace, joy, and 


true contentment...


God Himself.

Greed is defined as a selfish and excessive desire


 for more of something, most commonly money 


and/or power. It is a strong desire for more than is 


required or considered necessary. 


Most are driven solely by greed and longing for 


riches.

Those who are greedy 


are ever in want. 


They are stuck in a never-ending quest for 


desire without ever finding fulfillment.

There are numerous warnings in the Scriptures 


against embracing greed and yearning for riches.

 

Jesus warned, “Beware! Be


 on your guard against alforms


 of greeda man’s life does not


 consist in the abundance of his 


possessions.” 


Luke 12:15

Possessions do not



fill an empty soul.

Greed is defined as an unreasonable, unnecessary, 


egotistical, insatiable longing, or entitlement for 


unneeded excess, particularly more wealth, status, 


 power, or food.


Greed wants it all.



Greed gives rise to anger, rage, delusion, and 


obsession.

 Greed  is defined as an excessive or vain desire 


for money, wealth, and power. It is based on the


incorrect association of material wealth with


happiness. Greed is a bottomless pit. For where 


there is envy and self-seeking, there is confusion


and every evil thing.  

Greed and the desire for wealth are traps that 


lead to ruin and destruction.

Greed destroys relationships, strains the heart, and 


sears the soul. It is a vicious merry-go-round that 


never stops. 


Greed is the selfish desire to acquire 


or possess more than one needs. 



Greed has an unquenchable 


 desire for more... a lot more.

 According to Colossians 3:5, 


greed is a form of idolatry.

The good life can tempt people to become obsessed


 with power. They race so hard after the dollar and


 other things that they lose themselves and lose sight 


of what truly matters.


 The Bible contains numerous warnings against

 succumbing to greed and longing for riches. 

"Beware!" said Jesus. "Beware of all forms of

 greed; a man's life does not consist in the 

abundance of his possessions." 

Luke 12:15

"Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, 

where moth and rust destroy and thieves break

 in and steal... You cannot serve God and money

 at the same time." 

Matthew 6:19, 24


Was Jesus interested in 

acquiring money? 


No. Neither did

Jesus pursue 

power.


Jesus, on the other hand, became poor for our

 sake (2 Corinthians 8:9) and had "no place to 

lay his head." 

Matthew 8:20

Jesus directed, "Whoever wants to be great among


 you must serve you, and whoever wants to be first


 must serve all. Even the Son of Man came not


 to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a


 ransom for many."


Mark 10:43-45


Greed and the desire for wealth


 are traps that lead to ruin and


destruction. 

"Money is the root of all evil," and Believers 


are warned, "Do not put your trust in wealth." 


1 Timothy 6:9-10, 17-18



Idolatry is defined as covetousness, or an


 excessive or greedy desire for more. 



"For this you can be certain: No immoral, 


impure, or greedy person - such a man


 is an idolater - has any inheritance in the 


kingdom of God." 


Ephesians 5:5



Hebrews 13:5 contains the principle to remember: 


"Keep your lives free of the love of money, and be 


content with what you have, because God has said,


 'I will never leave you; I will never forsake you.'"

The issue is not money itself, but rather the


 desire for it. Money obsession is a sin because


 it interferes with God's worship. Rich people, 


according to Jesus, have a difficult time 


entering God's Kingdom. 



When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what


 he should do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told


 him to sell everything he owned and give the 


proceeds to the poor. "When the young man 


heard this, he was sad because he had a lot 


of money." 


Matthew 19:16-22



By telling him to give up his money, Jesus 


revealed the young man's main issue: greed 


or a love of money. He couldn't follow Christ


 because he was following money..His love of


 this world interfered with his love for God.

Greed will not be satisfied. Most of the time, the


 more we have, the more we want. Material 


possessions will not protect us, either in this life 


or in the next. This point is well illustrated by


 Jesus' parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21.



 Again, money or wealth are not an issue. Our


 attitude toward it is the issue. When we put our


 trust in money or become consumed by an 


insatiable desire for more, we fail to give God 


the glory and worship He deserves. We are to 


serve God rather than squander our time 


attempting to amass wealth.


Proverbs 23:4



Our heart's desire should be to store up treasures 


in heaven rather than feel worried about what 


we will eat, drink, or wear.


“But seek first [God’s] kingdom and His righteousness,


and all these things will be given to you as well.” 


Matthew 6:25-34

 May we strive for greatness



rather than greed.

"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," 


Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. 


"You can't serve both God


and money."


6:24 Matthew


This verse follows a passage in which Jesus



instructs us to 


"lay up treasures in heaven."



In this passage, Jesus compares "love of money" 


to idolatry. He refers to money as a "master" that 


we serve instead of God.



God commands us to have 


"No other gods" 


before the one and only true 


and living God.


Exodus 20:3-4


Anything other than our Creator, God, 


that takes precedence in our lives is an idol, 


and we are guilty of breaking 


the first commandment.

We could see who or what we are truly worshiping


 if we re-examined our lives to see where and how


 we spend our time, allegiance, energy, and affection


 on a daily basis.

When used wisely and in the proper context, 


money and possessions can do a lot of good.


The conflict is with material gods, not with 


material goods.

The source of all evil is the love of money, 


not money itself. 


1Timothy 6:10


Wealth is morally neutral; there is nothing 


wrong with money or the possession of 


money in and of itself. When money 


becomes one's god and is worshiped and


 adored, incredible evil and sin rears 


its ugly head.

"A wolf in sheep's clothing"


has become a popular metaphor for any


 hidden danger or any adversary putting


on a false front 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 frequently involves multiple players at 


various stages. Propaganda, distraction, secrecacy, 


and/or obstruction are all examples of deception.


 Deception the practice of lying.

Some people despise the achiever. They become


 enraged by the achiever's extraordinary talent.


 They are threatened and will embark on 


misguided quests to create impediments, dead 


ends, and roadblocks for others.



God has bestowed incredible gifts, talents, and 


abilities on each of us. Each of us is unique, and


 God has called us to different tasks and ministries.



Sad to say, the envy monster cannot see the forest


 for the trees.

The evil doer frequently causes harm

through his own deception.
The master of deception is Satan.

Satan's greatest deception is 

convincing us 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 bring harm and misfortune on others. 
The evildoer frequently causes significant damage.

Envy is our least becoming quality

It is one of the most powerful sources of dissatisfaction. 

We can become consumed, vain, and bitter by our own

passion if we compare ourselves to others.

Envy only eats its own heart. Going to the land of

 comparisons and envy is the quickest way to despair.

 Most of the time, we envy one quality about a person 

and assume that the rest of their qualities are just as good. 

That is not always the case.


Comparing one's insides to the outsides of others is a waste 

of time. Instead of comparing our fortunes to those who

appear to be more fortunate than we are, we should count 

our blessings and strive to be the best we can be. It takes a 

lifetime to accomplish this.

F.Y.I.

Envy is pained at seeing another have what 

jealousy fears losing.


The Dream of Joseph
Joseph had a difficult journey ahead of him.
This young man was despised for being the object of his father's affection and for possessing a gift bestowed upon him by God.

When Joseph shared his dream with his brothers, he was not attempting to elevate himself above them. He was simply sharing his thoughts and hoping for clarity about his dream.
Joseph's brothers disliked his dreams because they believed Joseph thought he was better than them.
They despised him even more. Have you ever been position like this? A place where you were not even trying to brag or boast, but simply needed to get clarity; yet, you were misunderstood and mistreated? 

Dreams were taken seriously in ancient times and were treated with respect. God frequently used dreams to foretell future events or to warn people of impending disasters.

Those who could interpret dreams rose quickly to positions of power within the empire.

So, according to the story, a few days later, Joseph's father asked him to check on his brothers. They were quite far away in the fields. So Joseph went in search of them. When the brothers saw Joseph in the distance, they recognized him by his bright garment and exclaimed, "Look, that dreamer is coming!" They started talking about how they could get rid of him.


Come, let us kill him, bury his body in a pit, and tell our father that some wild beast ate him; then we'll see what happens to his dreams." When Joseph's oldest brother, Reuben, heard this, he felt more sympathetic toward Joseph.

"Let's not kill him; just throw him in a well out here in the field," he said.

He said this because he was planning to return and rescue Joseph after the other brothers had gone.

When Joseph showed up, they stripped him of his beautiful robe and threw him into an empty well. The brothers must have taken a peculiar pleasure in ripping Joseph's robe off, and it must have been especially painful for Joseph to have it torn off him.

These brothers' heartlessness is evident; they could eat a meal with Joseph nearby in the pit.

They could eat and drink while their hearts were bent on murdering their brother. A little while later, a group of traders came by who were looking to sell some items in Egypt.

"Why don't we sell him to these people, that way we never have to see him again, and we don't have to kill him," one of the brothers suggested.

Because the other brothers liked the idea, they sold Joseph to traders on their way to Egypt.

They tested Joseph's dreams to the limit.

If the dreams were truly from God, they would not be defeated by the brothers' hatred.

Unfortunately, Reuben had been working and had missed what had occurred. When he returned to the well, he discovered that Joseph had vanished. He'd been sold to an important man named Potiphar, an assistant to Egypt's Pharaoh.

Reuben, as the eldest, could have simply told his brothers, "This is wrong!" We can't do this !

Reuben wanted to do the right thing for Joseph, but did not want to alienate his brothers. His desire to be nice to everyone fell short of preventing a major evil.

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

The other brothers took Joseph's beautiful robe, dipped it in animal blood, and returned it to their father. "Some animal has killed my son," the father exclaimed when he saw this. And he cried for days, so hard that no one could console him. All the brothers kept silent about the truth.

 

People who are closest to us can sometimes misinterpret our intentions and try to bring us down. If Joseph's brothers had been more discerning rather than jealous, they would have realized they possessed the same talent as Joseph.

Jealousy can blind us all.

 

After that, Joseph was led to Potiphar's house. Joseph began as a slave, but God was with him and helped him do everything right.

So Potiphar made him his assistant and placed him in charge of everything he owned. Later, Joseph became entangled in a mansion pitfall with Potiphar's wife. Potiphar's wife was the modern-day "Cougar." Mrs. Potiphar attempted to seduce Joseph, but he rejected her advances. Potiphar's wife ripped the outer garment from Joseph's shoulders as she turned to flee her room.

 Potiphar's wife lied about Joseph to her husband, 

so Potiphar jailed Joseph.

  Occasionally, as we as we progress to the next rung 

of the ladder we may encounter weak steps

that will attempt to cause us to fail and fall.

 

Joseph was clearly pressed in a position to do both. 

We aren't powerless... unless we consider giving up on the challenge.

After Joseph had been imprisoned for some time, Pharaoh sent a cup-bearer and baker there. Each of them had a dream one night. They told Joseph about their dreams, and he told the cup bearer that he would be released soon. "Could you please inform Pharaoh about me and request that he get me out of here?"

When the cup bearer was set free, he forgot what Joseph had done.

As a result, Joseph was imprisoned for another two years. God was still with Joseph. 

 One day the Pharaoh had a dream, and nobody could explain it to him. When the cup bearer remembered what Joseph had done for him, he brought Joseph to Pharaoh.

"Can you understand dreams?" Pharaoh asked.

"I can't, but God helps me." Joseph responded.

After Pharaoh told Joseph his dream... Joseph explained, "God is warning you. There will be seven years when nothing grows and no one will have food." "What should I do?" Pharaoh inquired. "God has shown you what to do. There will be seven very good years preceding the bad years.

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. 

The warden assigned Joseph to oversee all of the prisoners.

Joseph was never particularly worried because God was with him and helped him in doing everything properly.

Joseph organized the land and established a grain collection system.

The seven years of plenty were quickly followed by the years of need.

People everywhere were hungry, and there was no food for them to eat; but in Egypt, everyone had enough.

Most of the people quickly consumed the grain they had saved; many had saved none at all, and they all pleaded with the king to help them.

"Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you to do," said King Pharaoh.

Then the people came to Joseph, and Joseph opened the storehouses and sold all the grain that the people desired. Not only Egyptians came to buy grain, but people from all over came as well, because there was great need and famine everywhere.
And the need was just as great in Canaan, where Jacob lived, as it was in other places. Jacob was wealthy in flocks and cattle, as well as gold and silver; however, his fields produced no grain, and his family and people faced starvation. 

And when Jacob, who was now known as Israel, heard that there was food in Egypt, he told his sons, " "Why do you look at each other and ask what you should do to find food?
I've heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down to that land, take some money, and buy some grain so we can have bread and live." "
People came from all over the world to buy grain from Joseph because the entire world was struggling to survive.
  Some of those people were Joseph's brothers. They had never seen him as an adult, dressed as a prince, and seated on a throne.
It had been nearly twenty-three years since they had sold him, but Joseph recognized them all the moment he saw them. He resolved to be harsh and stern with them, not because he hated them, but to see what their spirit was like, and whether they were as selfish, cruel, and wicked as they had been in the past.

They approached him and bowed, their faces to the ground. Then, no doubt, Joseph remembered the dream he had as a child, of his brothers' sheaves bending down around his sheaf. He addressed them 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 still alive?"

His brothers, however, were unable to respond because they were terrified. Then Joseph added, "Come here. I'm your brother who you sold! Do not be concerned or angry at yourselves for selling me, because God has placed me here to save people from starvation." " So his father, brothers, and their families came to live in Egypt with Joseph, and they all had enough food.

 There was an significant change in Joseph's life.

Joseph arrived as a slave, but his unique, God-given ability to interpret dreams elevated him to the position of governor.

He went from rags to riches in a single day!

Joseph's God-given ability to interpret dreams enabled him to Enlighten Pharaoh, and God Enlivened Joseph's situation.

Paraphrased by Carole C. Good -  Based on Genesis 37 

http://insanelyserene.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/obsessive-thinking-d-sharon-pruitt.jpg
Be wary of salivating over someone else's situation.
 

Envy shoots at others while injuring itself.

 

 Rather than envying another's good fortune; why not

emulate the hard work, guts and perseverance that 

helped them earn it.
 
    

 We often forget that happiness comes from recognizing

 and appreciating what we already have, rather than 

acquiring something we do not have.

 

What does God desire? 

God desires to see Himself in us! 

Every decision we make either moves us closer to or further away from the likeness of our Creator.

Those who have nothing but God have everything that is important.

May we always remember and never forget that true happiness is found in a personal relationship with God, not in things.


 carolecgood@aol.com

  www.carolecgood.com

   
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