Greed – And It’s Cure

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

During the summer everyone wondered if there would be a professional football season. We had strikes, lockouts, endless negotiations, etc. It seemed that the NFL players and the owners could never get together on a solution. The whole season was threatened. A similar situation exists right now with the NBA.

I have heard many people use one word to sum up the essence of the whole situation. It is the word “greed.”

Fortunately the strike was settled. The only game missed was the opening Hall of Fame game. Professional football is at the top of the list in fan interest, money earned, etc. Even with all of this, greed almost cancelled the season.

A few months ago hedge-fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam went to trial. A lot of people suggested you heard more about Rajat Gupta than you did about the accused. Gupta headed up a consulting firm who allegedly tipped off Rajaratnam about Warren Buffett’s $5 billion investment in Goldman and other insider news about quarterly gains and losses. These tips allegedly were used by Rajaratnam to execute lucrative trades.

The question people asked was – “Why did Gupta do this?” He was described as “once one of the world’s most trusted advisers to companies.” What happened to him?

It was obvious that he didn’t need the money. He had been very instrumental in raising millions of dollars for various charities. He was friends with some of the most powerful people in the world, including President Barrack Obama.

Author Shoba Narayan, the wife of a former investment banker, contends that he slipped over the ethical line because “that whole New York milieu where people measure themselves by their net worth, the size of their bonus, or square footage of their house. If he’d lived away from that incestuous Wall Street set, perhaps none of this would have happened.”

Greed – when we associate with greedy people, we tend to become like the people with whom we associate.

Greed isn’t a new phenomenon. It is addressed throughout the Bible. Here is a sample. “Greed brings grief to the whole family.” (Proverbs 15:27 NLT) “Greed causes fighting, trust in the Lord leads to prosperity.” (Proverbs 28:25 NLT)

Can we learn a lesson? Jesus said, “Beware, guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” (Luke 12:15NLT) One of the truths of life is, “Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness.” (Ecclesiastes 5:10 NLT)

Giving is the medicine to cure greed. Unlike the description of New York, what would happen in your community if people measured themselves by how much they give, the size of their net giving, or the scope of their contributions to meet the needs of people. Instead of an incestuous Wall Street, what if we started creating an infectious Main Street where people try to out give each other!!

There is not enough for everyone’s greed, but there is enough for everyone’s need!


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