“For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.” Matthew 6:21
“He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house: but he that hateth bribes shall live. By mercy and faith sins are purged away: and by the fear of the Lord every one declineth from evil.” Proverbs 15:21
Greed is defined as the inordinate desire of temporal goods. It does not have to concern possession, as even a poor man who desires much can do so enviously of the rich, to his own destruction. All things belong to God and when things are not used for the purpose of obtaining salvation and to glorify God, they are used in a disordered fashion. Greed is based on a lack of confidence in the Divine Providence of God. People cling to earthly and temporal goods because they lack the Faith that God will supply them with what they need for their states in life.
Our Lord, the greatest example of being poor in spirit, did not require that His disciples be completely poor. He only wishes us to have a type of moderation to the possesion and use of things in this material world. The spirit of poverty is a requirement of Heaven because without it our hearts and minds are elsewhere, taking our souls with them. The saints practiced a life of unattachment to earthly things because they were ready at any moment to give up their lives and go before the Judge, without any material love to stand in between.
There is nothing wrong with striving for the basic needs of this life. Everyone needs food, clothing, shelter, transportation, communication, etc. There is also nothing incompatible with Holy Scripture in enjoying the use of things in moderation; you only run the risk of getting too attached or having these things in excess if you do not remain poor in spirit and emotionally unattached to these things. Reason should be our judgement for such things. “Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal.” Matthew 6:19
Material things will leave us, or we will leave them. Money will inevietably be spent, but people put a lot of emphasis on it because it affords us objects that we want and need. Money is a medium of exchange, people love it according to what they can purchase with it often creating its disordered use. A good thing to ask yourself when you see something you wish to purchase is whether you want it, or you need it. If you need it and can afford it, then buy it. If you want it, ask yourself why and if it is affordable not just for your budget but will it take the attention away from your duties of state in life?
Often times things are purchased out of impulse. People forget about God and live pennyless due to impulsive buying. They become cold hearted, mean-spirited, worldly, unspiritual, envious, and dishonest. These things lead to lying, cheating people, and stealing, or even worse. There becomes no room for pity on others, not just financially but in general one becomes selfish and will not help others. They may complain about the price or quality of things given to them and eventually become unable to live in a modest environment, having to be lavish in their everyday lives. As stated however, there is a moderation concerning your state in life, such an example would be a president. Because of the dignity of such a position, it would not be advantageous for a president to drive around in the cheapest car he can find, or wear ragged clothes as a representative or head of a nation.
Men often come to a love of money, toys such as video games, guns, cars, things they truly believe they need when they do not. Women can be extremely excessive with clothing, makeup, and shopping in general. It is not wrong for one to have vacations or amusements, it is a part of life to have these things. The more our focus stays on these things however, the less it is on God. Nothing in this world is truly ours to own forever, people become so attached to things that they lose focus on what really matters.
To remedy such feelings we need to have an overall trust and confidence in the Divine Providence of God. We need to pray for the things we need to fulfill our duties according to our states in life, as a child asking their parents for something. We need to reasonably spend and save and not be so avaricious with our money especially when there are needs to take care of, it will be spent at some point anyway. A good exercise is to frequently give away something dear to you to keep yourself from being too attached to material things. If we have excessive amounts of money, it is because God wants us to have the courage to give it to those who are in need. If we are lacking what we need, then we need to ask God for what we need with faith and confidence and thank Him for making us closer to the poverty, and humility that Jesus displayed while on this Earth.
“But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.” Matthew 6:20
God Bless BJS!!