Advertisers constantly appeal to consumer greed, trying to convince us that we need certain products.

An executive of an electronics firm boasted, “When we introduced pocket radios years ago, nobody needed them, so they didn’t sell. We had to convince the consumer that he needed our products. Sales have boomed ever since.”

The desire for more and more money, things, or power isn’t unique to this century. Thousands of years ago, Elisha’s servant Gehazi saw a chance to get money from wealthy Naaman. He would be able to buy clothing, olive groves, vineyards, sheep and oxen, and servants (2 Ki. 5:26). Greed took over.

Greed can quickly tarnish our integrity. I know some Christian business owners who work hard and make lots of money, but they are slow to give raises to their employees. I also know another Christian who earns hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, but some of his practices are unethical. Greed often motivates otherwise good people.

We are all susceptible to the powerful grip of greed. That’s why it’s good to pray, “Lord, help me to be concerned about how I can please You, not how I can gain more for myself.”