G R E E D
Being discontent with the spirituality that God gives to you…because you do not find in spiritual things the consolation that you desire. OUCH!
Many can never have enough of listening to counsels and learning spiritual precepts and of possessing and reading many books, and they spend time on all these things rather than on works of mortification and the perfecting of the inward poverty of spirit which should be theirs. Blessed are the poor in spirit.
They entertain themselves with Christian jewelry and novelties of the faith like children with happy meal toys, they put down one, now take up another. They walk through a revolving door of one church and out the back door of another. They try out new gimmicks to give them spiritual happiness, preferring one kind of cross to another because it looks better than the last one.
Pastors as the CEO and Entertainment Director along with their church staff can do this as they seek to make programs and products to feed the greed of making the American Church happy.
All of this is quite contrary to the poverty of spirit which considers only the substance of devotion. The rest of this is affection and attachment proceeding from imperfection and in order that one may pass into any kind of perfection it is necessary for such desires to be killed.
Those who are to make good progress attach themselves to no visible instruments, nor do they burden themselves with such things, nor desire to know more than is necessary in order that they may act well. Paul asked in our radical pursuit that we hold true to what we have attained, Philippians 3:16.
Have we trivialized the person, presence and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives with “God things” without ever having to face or deal with God. The last dregs of wisdom of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:12 may provide a Snap-Chat moment into our dis-ease…
In the making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter…Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
I like material things as much as the next guy, but I am not attached to materialism. I mean I have given up and sold everything in our lives on a number of occasions. I think we seek to live a life of simplicity. So I figured I was in the clear on this topic and then I got blindsided by the 18 wheeler barreling down the road of this book.
When reading this chapter of Dark Night of the Soul I was convicted of my greed for spiritual “Turkish Delight”, like Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I use my prayer, fasting, obedience, faith, sacred reading in an effort to gain the latest “word from God” to ease my plight of desperation. I am addicted to spiritual things in order to barter for spiritual life. Yes, these things are a means of grace, but they are not a substitute for the God of grace. Whenever you misuse or abuse a strength it can become a weakness.
Don’t be fooled by the apparent innocence of the object you’ve chosen as an idol; what is the function of it? Most of our idols also have a perfectly legitimate place in our lives. That’s their cover, that’s how we get away with our infidelity.
Forgive the rival altars we raise.