Don’t covet. Don’t be greedy. You may have heard such advice all your life, but in a world that endlessly encourages us to consume ever more, what does “greed” really mean?

Greed is rooted in a lack of contentment, which causes us to desire what we see others possess. The concept of greed immediately makes us think about our relationship with money. The book of Ecclesiastes declares, “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income” (Eccles. 5:10, NIV). Paul told Timothy, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Tim. 6:10). Paul meant that our greed does not just stop at the hoarding of money. It can lead to many other forms of evil and, ultimately, our destruction.

Paul told Timothy the key to true gain and wealth: contentment. He wrote, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Tim. 6:6-8). Jesus assures us that if we trust in Him, He will take care of all our earthly needs.

True gain is not found in our external possessions, but in the development of our character. Ask Jesus to help you become more content today, and He will surely begin to show you how this can be accomplished.