Thursday, October 16, 2008

Greed is wishful thinking that turns sour!

One is reminded of the Hebrews who during their escape from Egypt were provided ‘bread from heaven’ as they thought. It sustained them through the forty years of wilderness wanderings but when they tried to gather and store the manna they found to their alarm that it went bad.

How true of the materialistic goals we often aspire to have and at any cost. The recent financial market and share market collapse is testament to such creed and its destructive consequences. Interesting that the modern use of the word ‘manna’ now relates to the ‘bread’ of commerce – money.

Our obsession to have more than we need and to secure our future is to live in a fool’s world. Jesus said, ‘What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and lose their soul’ (Mark 8: 36) Or, ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth , where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break in and steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”. (Matt. 6: 19-21).
Seems to me that there is a definite link between greed and idolatry. Our ‘god’ can be defined as that value to which we devote most of our time and effort.
Frederick Buechner puts it well ....
“Idolatry is the practice of ascribing absolute value to things of relative worth. Under certain circumstances money, patriotism, sexual freedom, moral principles, family loyalty, physical health, social or intellectual preeminence, and so on are fine things to have around, but to make them the standard by which all other values are measured, to make them your masters, to look to them to justify your life and save your soul is sheerest folly”.

- Frederick Buechner - Wishful Thinking

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