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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of April 12, 2021

Giving is the only antidote to greed.

Jesus says, in Matthew 6:24, No one can serve two masters. 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 both God and Money. Jesus is making the point that our heart's highest loyalty will be for only one thing. We can't be equally devoted to two things; ultimately one will win out over the other.

If money is the most important thing to you (i.e., if you're greedy), then you will serve your money more than you serve God. And you will find it very difficult to follow God's instructions to give to others: If there is a poor man among your brothers ... do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Rather be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs (Deuteronomy 15:7-8).

If it's true that no one can serve two masters, then the best way to fight against greed is to make sure that your master (your highest loyalty) is God—not money. Follow God above all else; that way your money will follow God, too.

John writes, If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (1 John 3:17). That sounds rather harsh at first, but it's really no different than what Jesus said in Matthew 6:24. If you love your money more than God, then you'll keep your money for yourself rather than giving it away to help others. The only way you'll give generously to others is if you love God more than you love your money. So, how do you know if you love God more than money? By examining what you do with your money: Do you keep most of it, or give most of it?

If you want to fight against greed (that is, if you want to love God more than your money), then you'll follow God's instructions to give—give to the poor, give generously, give joyfully, give liberally, and give regularly. Giving is the best weapon against greed.

You are valuable not because of who you are, but because of whose you are.

What is it that makes you valuable? What makes you feel important? Is it your wealth? The fact that you're well educated? Do you feel important because you get lots of cell phone calls, so that must mean you're popular? Or do you feel valuable because you have a high position of leadership at work?

While it certainly isn't wrong to be wealthy, well educated, popular, or in leadership, we must not let those things define our worth and value, because things can (and likely will) fail us. Cars break down; houses burn down; profits sink down; and with them, our self-worth falls down.

But God declares that you're worth everything to him -- you're worth all Christ offered. You are not your own; you were bought at a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). That price is the life of Jesus.

You are precious in God's sight -- you're his child (Ephesians 1:5). Almost every parent would agree that his or her child is the most precious thing in the world; and that's the way God views you! It's no wonder God labels his people as his treasured possession (Deuteronomy 14:2).

Don't let wealth, education, popularity, status, or anything else define your value. Know that you worth everything to God, because you're His.