18 Mar He Chose to Reject Greed (Forty Days with Jesus – Day 26, Mar 18th)
Read Matthew 21:12-13
Thought for the Day: Life is better when I reject greed!
In the magnificent short story Civil Peace by Chinua Achebe, we meet a wise husband and father named Jonathan Iwegbu. After surviving a ruthless civil war, Jonathan learned that he didn’t need money, influence, or possessions to be happy. Instead, all that mattered to him was that his family had survived the war and, to him, anything else was a bonus. As those around him continued to cling to greed even after the war, Jonathan was robbed, threatened, and still rejected greed. Facing his thieves head-on, Jonathan gladly gave up the little money he had left. And in the end, he happily counted his blessings, let go of a desire for material wealth, and left the rest up to God. After all, “nothing puzzles God”!
It is easy to read about Jesus’ clearing of the temple and miss the point. When He drove out the merchants and money-changers, Jesus was not succumbing to anger. Instead, He showed us that life is better when we reject greed. The people who profited off of the Temple found themselves blinded by greed and unable to experience all of the good things God wanted to offer. To them, life in the Temple was not about worship or prayer. When Jesus cleansed the Temple, He sent a clear message: when we let go of destructive desires for material wealth, life is better!
The season of Lent is a time of reflection, confession, and repentance. When we cling to greed, it is impossible to experience the joys and benefits of a deep relationship with Jesus. Instead, we become blinded by a destructive desire and lose sight of what really matters. Let’s reflect on this, confess to God when we miss the mark, and turn away from the things that hold us back from deepening our relationship with Jesus. After all, life is better when we reject greed!
Reflect & Pray – Is greed an issue in my life? Am I willing to let go of my desire for material wealth and instead recommit to following Jesus? God, I am sorry for the times when greed keeps me from following You. Please help me do better!