Today we continue in our series, “What’s Keeping You Stuck,” and our focus is on Greed vs Gratitude.
No one wants to admit that they are greedy. I know I don’t, but from time to time, this ugliness shows up in my life. Here’s a story of how:
I tend to go clothes shopping in spurts with long breaks in between. I was in a place where I was desperate for some new clothes, so I went to my favorite shop, and began to look around. It just so happened that the season’s new selections were out and I loved them all! Suddenly, my arms were piled high with outfits to try on.
It was a magical day. Everything I tried on fit well and I loved they way the clothes made me look and feel. In my head, I was calculating the sum of all that I had, justifying more and more spending. Walking to the cashier, I dumped a mountain of wonderful things and presented my credit card with a twinge of guilt on how much I was spending. I wondered how I would explain the total to my husband. It was almost double the amount that we had decided was wise for me to spend.
Carrying my bags out toward the door and my waiting husband, I felt both excitement at my purchases and continued feelings of guilt about the amount I had just spent. Then, just before exiting the store, I took one last look over my shoulder, and there it was, the cutest sweater I hadn’t noticed earlier. What?? How did I miss that? All of a sudden, I wasn’t so happy about leaving.
My husband raised his eyebrows at me about the amount, but overall was really gracious about my spending. Whew! But, I couldn’t get that sweater out of my mind. As I put away my clothes, making space for them in my closet and thinking up all of the different outfits available to me now, I obsessed about the one item that was missing.
And, I went back.
Yup. I did.
And, I bought that sweater.
Along with the right color tank top to go underneath.
I was obsessing about how much I needed that sweater. I was thinking about how good it would look and how it would make me feel. I was treasuring it and my heart raced after it. Greed. Always wanting more. Never having enough. Ugh.
Google tells me that the definition of greed is an intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food. I definitely fall smack dab in that definition!
Can you relate?
Is there something that you have an intense desire for at times that is selfish?
It’s not fun to recognize this in ourselves is it?
On the other hand, Google says that gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Now, that sounds much better doesn’t it?
While greed keeps us stuck, gratitude opens the doors wide for possibility. Here’s how:
- keeps us self-focused and limits us to our own sphere
- makes us hoard and not let our resources benefit anyone but ourself
- is about trying to be in control of our own security
- shuts us off from others
- is other-focused and invites us in to the lives of many others
- is focused on giving and looking for ways to benefit others
- recognizes that God is in control and he provides for all of our needs
- opens the doors to make a difference in the lives of others
Does greed keep you stuck at times from living the life you were created for? Join me in working on developing an attitude of gratitude to battle against the greed that sometimes shows up in our lives.
A great resource I recommend is the book “Choosing Gratitude,” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, to help in this journey.
Have a great week!