Bible Summary. The Bible provides us with a rich definition of greed. From a Christian perspective, the core definition of greed is that it is the obsession with accumulating material goods. A greedy person values material goods more than they value God. The Bible also tells us that greed is something that can never be satisfied. Greed and slothfulness have similarities in definition. The greedy and slothful both crave material goods as well as they have no desire to work for or to exchange anything of value for the object of their desires. The slothful will not work even for basic necessities much less add value to the world around them. The greedy will use deception to acquire material goods. The greedy will lie and use false pretenses to acquired goods at the expense of others. See below for Biblical commentary and scriptures on the definition of greed.
Obsessed With Abundance Over God.
The core definition of greed is the obsession with accumulating material goods. The Bible tells us that God does not reward us by the amount of material goods we accumulate during our lifetime. God judges us by our relationship to Jesus Christ, our love of God, and our love of our fellowman. Luke 12:15 advises us not to be obsessed with accumulating wealth.
Luke 12:15, “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”
A Illustration on Greed and the Love of Money: Winning the Lottery …
Greed Can Never Be Satisfied.
A key aspect of greed is that greed is never satisfied no matter how much material goods are accumulated by a person. The Bible says we are but “greedy dogs” who are obsessed with material things. Greed has no purpose because it can never be satisfied. Only God can give us true purpose, true peace, and true satisfaction. Isaiah 56:11 tells us that greed is never satisfied.
Isaiah 56:11, “Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”
Greed Includes Slothfulness.
The Bible teaches us that the definition of greed includes being slothful. Greed is coveting for things that are out of the will of God for us. Slothfulness is out of the will of God because a slothful person will greedily craves for things (even basic necessities), but he or she is not willing to work for it. God has given us the means to work for material goods that we need to live. Greed creeps in when we become so slothful that we refuse work to provide for our basic necessities. Proverbs 21:25 tell us that the slothfulness definition is a greedy person that refuses work.
Proverbs 21:25, “The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.”
Accumulating Goods Under False Pretenses.
The definition of greed includes that it is deceptive. Greedy people are scammers that accumulate material things under false pretenses. Instead of trying to add true value in the workplace, marketplace, or everyday life, greedy people will do anything to obtain material goods. Greedy people are full of promise on the outside, but inside they are “full of ravening and wickedness”. Luke 11:39 advises us that deceptive persons are full of greed and evil.
Luke 11:39, “And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.”
Download our Bible Study Handout: From our Lust & Greed Topics series, Definition Of Greed.