Is Greed A Sin (What Does The Bible Say About Greed)?

Human beings have a nature of wanting more than they have. It is hard to be contented, especially in a world that embraces “the more” factor. This is, in the best way, called greed. So is greed a sin?

The Bible implies that greed is a sin. It is a form of idolatry because greed for material things and power gets in the way of worshipping God. Also, greed leads to other sins like coveting and stealing.

So, what does the Bible say about greed? What makes greed a deadly sin? What are some examples of greed in the Bible? What is God’s punishment for greed? Consequences of greed in the Bible. How can Christians recognize the sin of greed? How can Christians overcome the sin of greed? What Bible verses about greed? Read on to find out.

What does the Bible say about greed?

Let’s get the definition right; Greed is a combination of selfishness and too much desire for something, especially material things. The Bible warns Christians about greed because Jesus teaches that life should not be materialistic. In Luke 12:15, it is written that “Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Also, the Bible warns Christians not to invest much more in worldly things because they are not eternal. There is no point in being greedy over material possessions that will not even make it into the next life. In the book of Matthew 6:19, Christians learn the perspective of Christ towards greed when He says: “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.”

Furthermore, Jesus led an exemplary life where He was not greedy for money. Jesus chose to be poor for the sake of everyone. 2nd Corinthians 8:9, it is written that: “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor so that by his poverty, he could make you rich.” Furthermore, Jesus could have pursued power because he was spiritually powerful. However, as a good leader who preached against greed, He was not interested in power but in saving sinners. It is backed up in Mark 10:43-45 “But among you, it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Being greedy leads a person to commit the sin of coveting, which is against God’s commandment. The Bible says that being greedy and desiring too much will lead to self-destruction.

What Does The Bible Say About Greed?
What makes greed a deadly sin? See below

What makes greed a deadly sin?

In Ephesians 5:5, it is implied that greed is a deadly sin because it is a form of idolatry. As said before, money and power are not problems; the biggest issue is the attitude of human beings toward money and power. They become greedy when they get obsessed and are not contented with what they have.

One thing about greed is that it will never be satisfied, and people will do anything to satisfy their greediness which is a form of idolatry because it is equal to saying they cannot live without money and power. This gets in the way of worshipping God because so much attention and regard is given to power and wealth. Also, greed leads to coveting, which is against the commandments of God.

What are some examples of greed in the Bible?

A good example of greed is the story of King Ahab and Naboth. King Ahab was a wealthy King to the point one of his palaces was made of pure ivory. However, he was not satisfied with all his riches. One day, looking out through his window, he saw Naboth’s vineyard and became greedy. He imagined how his plants would look on the land and decided to pursue his desires.

He went to Naboth and requested to get the land. Naboth refused because it was ancestral land which made Ahab so furious. 1st Kings 21:4 Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, ‘I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers’ He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat” King Ahab was not contented with what he had. He pushed his evil wife, Jezebel, into committing the sin of murder. She killed Naboth to quench her husband’s greed.

Also, Judas Iscariot is an excellent example of a greedy person. He was so greedy that he gave up Jesus for 30 coins. Ultimately, his greediness made him feel guilty, and he committed suicide.

Lastly, the parable of the rich man in Luke 12:16-21. The rich man was focused on how he would store his grains when they harvest. He was not bothered about the most important thing, life! The only thing that mattered was his material possession which shows his greed. He did not know that he would even die the same night.

What is God’s punishment for greed? Consequences of greed in the Bible

According to 1st Timothy 6:6-10, greed’s consequences include destruction and ruin. If we look at the example of King Ahab, he fell into sin that ruined him simply because of his greed. Judas Iscariot fell destroyed himself for being greedy and selling his loyalty. He killed himself. Sapphira and Ananias fell into sin because of greed.

How can Christians recognize the sin of greed?

Christians can recognize greed when they lack contentment in their lives. Also, when they are selfish with their wealth and cannot help the poor. Additionally, when your desires as a Christian come in the way of your relationship with God and others, know that you are becoming greedy. Above all, it lacks gratitude and humility.

Is Greed A Sin?
How can Christians overcome the sin of greed? See below

How can Christians overcome the sin of greed?

  • Being content with what you have as a Christian helps you overcome greed.
  • Making a charity a habit as a Christian gradually eliminates greed.
  • Pursue eternal life because material things are vanity, and remember Colossians 3:5

Bible verses about greed

Ephesians 5:5 says, ” For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” The Bible suggests that greed leads humans into idolatry, which is against God’s commandments.

Hebrews 13:5 says that “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

The Bible also suggests that the love of money, which is greed, makes people less contented. People should be contented because God will always be there for them. Here is the thing, money is not always the problem; it is how much human beings love money. It reaches a point where humans do anything for money, disrupting the relationship between human beings and God—money becomes man’s idol.

1st Timothy 6:6-10 says, “Well, religion does make us very rich if we are satisfied with what we have. What did we bring into the world? Nothing! What can we take out of the world? Nothing! So then, if we have food and clothes, that should be enough for us. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and are caught in the trap of many foolish and harmful desires, which pull them down to ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a source of all kinds of evil. Some have been so eager to have it that they have wandered away from the faith and have broken their hearts with many sorrows.” This verse implies that Christians should not be greedy because none of the things they would overly desire are eternal, and neither did they come with them on earth.

Christians can beat greed by having an eternal perspective; knowing that they should pursue eternal life satisfies them with food and clothing in the materialistic world. The desire and too much love for money lead people into sin because Paul said that love for money is the root of all evil. More evidently, in today’s society, wealthy people do not bother about living a life that pleases God. Their greed for material things always gets in the way.

Proverbs 11:24-25 says that “Some people spend their money freely and still grow richer. Others are cautious and yet grow poorer. Be generous, and you will be prosperous. Help others, and you will be helped.” This verse implies that being kind and giving material things to those who need but do not have is a form of avoiding being greedy. There are rewards for not being greedy and punishments for being greedy. Verse 28 says, “Those who depend on their wealth will fall like the leaves of autumn, but the righteous will prosper like the leaves of summer.


What does the Bible say about greed?

19 Bible Verses About Greed And Wealth

The deadly sin of greed and how to eliminate it from your life

10 Key Bible Verses on Greed

Lesson 11: Greed – A Fearful Master

Leave a Comment