Who Said, “Greed is Good?”

I will not accuse them forever,
    nor will I always be angry,
for then they would faint away because of me—
    the very people I have created.
I was enraged by their sinful greed;
    I punished them, and hid my face in anger,
    yet they kept on in their willful ways.
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them;
    I will guide them and restore comfort to Israel’s mourners,
    creating praise on their lips.
Peace, peace, to those far and near,”
    says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”
But the wicked are like the tossing sea,
    which cannot rest,
    whose waves cast up mire and mud.
“There is no peace, says my God, “for the wicked.”

  • Isaiah 57:16-21

They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done.  Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight.  They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.  With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!  They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.  But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

  • 2 Peter 2:13-16

For those admiring the photo, you mostly see pennies, so you can guess that I do not have a good grasp on greed.

Let’s start with a video clip.

Now to answer the question, in a simplified mindset, Gordon Gekko said “Greed is Good.”

But Gordon Gekko was a fictional character in a movie, Wall Street, a 1987 film.  Michael Douglas, the actor playing Gordon Gekko, actually said the words.  Douglas won the Oscar for his portrayal.  Obviously, the Academy voters agreed with what he said.

But Oliver Stone directed the movie.  Did he not direct Michael Douglas to play the part as shown in that scene?  And did not Oliver Stone and Stanley Weiser actually write the screen play?  Are they not the ones who put those words in the character’s mouth?

But if you listened carefully, there was pure evil that dripped from the lips of Gordon Gekko.  It was Satan who said those words.  He just used a human to say them.

And even the church wallows in this mud puddle.  The Scripture from 2 Peter above is part of a chapter warning against false teaching within the church.  The prosperity gospel certainly applies, as the preachers of it live in mansions while they tell their poor followers that they have not yet given enough “seed money.”  This Scripture was written a little over 1950 year ago, according to the experts.  The apostle Peter was probably not being absolutely prophetic about something happening nearly 2,000 years later.  It was happening then.  Why did Simon the Magician (or Simon the Sorcerer or Simon Magus) want to buy the power of the Holy Spirit?  Simon had always made money from his illusions.  Now, he knew he could make more money with the real thing.  Was Simon truly converted to Christianity and then greed caused him to stumble?  Or did Simon just say that he believed in order to obtain great wealth?  That is above my pay grade.  Greed affects believers and non-believers alike, and when you do as Gordon Gekko suggests, extending “greed” to everything, not just money, we all have that problem, even when we want “good” things.

But that is it.  We need to seek after “good” things.  When we get “greedy” (to misuse the word) to be more like Jesus, God gives us more of Jesus.  The point where we stumble is when we are greedy for those things of this world that do not last.

Greed is NOT good, but a deep yearning for those things of God, to be closer to Jesus and to be more like Jesus, that is good.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

4 Comments

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  1. Excellent teaching! I almost skipped reading this, because I have so much going on right now. Glad I didn’t skip it!

    Liked by 1 person

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