The Ravenous Heart

Richard Foster wisely wrote, “The issue of money would be much easier to deal with if it were all bad. Our task then would be to denounce it and withdraw from it. That, however, is the one thing we cannot do if we want to be faithful to the biblical witness.” Greed is what our desire for security and freedom looks like perverted, it’s an excessive desire for money or possessions, not the desire itself. And I think this is important to say—you can have money, even get more, without being greedy. We confuse the issue when we blame the amount of money. It’s not the amount, it’s the ravenous heart. As Saint Francis DeSales quipped, “There is a great difference between having poison and being poisoned.” The deeper issue is that the person trapped in greed cannot find contentment with what they have. The lie they believe is contentment can be gained by acquiring a little more—but the truth hidden from their eyes is this—contentment cannot be acquired, it's cultivated. And this is what makes greed so deceptive: the greedy heart rarely sees its greed—which leads us to an even deeper truth about all vice: vice not only binds, it blinds. It conceal its inner workings, quietly and gradually, strengthening its position inside us.