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Distracted And Delayed By Baggage

Greed Materialism Influence

Source: USA Today

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-05-11

Scripture: Luke 12:15 ; 1 Timothy 6:9

Author: Neal Pollard
3

ILLUSTRATION

On May 7, 2019, in a USA Today article about the crashed Aeroflot plane that killed 41 of the passengers onboard, Bill McGee wrote: “Reports from people on the plane indicate the evacuation may have been slowed by passengers grabbing their bags. Videos show passengers taking their carry-on bags with them as they exited the plane.”

The AFA said in a statement. “We will never know if more lives could have been saved if the bags were left behind."

APPLICATION

In Luke 12:15, Jesus taught, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” The NASB translates the first part of the verse, saying, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed….”

Watching video footage of those passengers making an emergency exit with carry-ons in hand is a rather graphic illustration of Jesus’ point. Unfortunately, we do the same thing when we have the wrong priorities. 

Paul teaches that greed can be a “snare,” plunging men into “ruin and destruction” that pierces them “with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). It’s interesting that Paul’s inspired counsel is to “flee from these things” (v. 11).

Consider that an inordinate focus on material things not only hurts you, it also affects the people that come along behind you. That includes your children, grandchildren, and the other people who are influenced by your example. They see what you value most and what has your greatest attention and affection. 

Let’s be careful not to allow this world to cloud our judgment, making the things of this world seem more important than the souls of others. In reality, the stakes are even higher than an emergency exit from an airplane. 

It All Goes Back In The Box

Greed Mortality Vanity

Source: WHEN THE GAME IS OVER, IT ALL GOES BACK IN THE BOX by John Ortberg, pp. 11-14 (quoted from an audio retelling by the same author)

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-09-25

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 1:4

Author: John Ortberg
6

ILLUSTRATION

John Ortberg writes: 

My grandmother ... was a lovely woman, but she was the most ruthless Monopoly player I have ever known in my life. Imagine what would have happened if Donald Trump had married Leona Helmsley and they would have had a child. Then, you have some picture of what my grandmother was like when she played Monopoly. She understood that the name of the game is to acquire. 

When we would play when I was a little kid and I got my money from the bank, I would always want to save it, hang on to it, because it was just so much fun to have money. She spent on everything she landed on. And then, when she bought it, she would mortgage it as much as she could and buy everything else she landed on. She would accumulate everything she could. And eventually, she became the master of the board. 

And every time I landed, I would have to pay her money. And eventually, every time she would take my last dollar, I would quit in utter defeat. And then she would always say the same thing to me. She’d look at me and she’d say, “One day, you’ll learn to play the game.” I hated it when she said that to me. But one summer, I played Monopoly with a neighbor kid–a friend of mine–almost every day, all day long. We’d play Monopoly for hours. 

And that summer, I learned to play the game. I came to understand the only way to win is to make a total commitment to acquisition. I came to understand that money and possessions, that’s the way that you keep score. And by the end of that summer, I was more ruthless than my grandmother. I was ready to bend the rules, if I had to, to win that game. And I sat down with her to play that fall. 

Slowly, cunningly, I exposed my grandmother’s vulnerability. Relentlessly, inexorably, I drove her off the board. The game does strange things to you ... She was an old lady by now. She was a widow. She had raised my mom. She loved my mom. She loved me. I took everything she had. I destroyed her financially and psychologically. I watched her give her last dollar and quit in utter defeat. It was the greatest moment of my life.

APPLICATION

The author continues: 

And then she had one more thing to teach me. Then she said, “Now it all goes back in the box–all those houses and hotels, all the railroads and utility companies, all that property and all that wonderful money–now it all goes back in the box.” I didn’t want it to go back in the box. I wanted to leave the board out, bronze it maybe, as a memorial to my ability to play the game.  

“No,” she said, “None of it was really yours. You got all heated up about it for a while, but it was around a long time before you sat down at the board, and it will be here after you’re gone. Players come and players go. But it all goes back in the box.”

And the game always ends. For every player, the game ends. Every day you pick up a newspaper, and you can turn to a page that describes people for whom this week the game ended. Skilled businessmen, an aging grandmother who was in a convalescent home with a brain tumor, teenage kids who think they have the whole world in front of them, and somebody drives through a stop sign. It all goes back in the box–houses and cars, titles and clothes, filled barns, bulging portfolios, even your body.

"I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind" (Ecclesiastes 1:4). 

U of MD Professor Vexes Students With Extra Credit Question

Wisdom Greed Blessings/Blessedness

Source: “Professor asks cruelest extra credit question ever” by Eric Morrow, WUSA 9, posted July 11, 2015

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-08-09

Scripture: Proverbs 11:24 ; Matthew 6:33

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA9) -- For most college students, extra credit opportunities usually come in the form of essay questions at the bottom of the test, additional assignments, or a detail hidden in the exam instructions.

So when a group of University of Maryland students got a multiple choice prompt for an extra credit question (that required no additional information they needed to study), it seemed like a dream come true.

But instead they saw this:

Here you have the opportunity to earn some extra credit on your final paper grade. Select whether you want 2 point or 6 points added onto your final paper grade. But there’s a small catch: If more than 10% of the class selects 6 points, then no one gets any points. Your response will be anonymous to the rest of the class, only I will see the responses.

The professor behind this moral dilemma is Dylan Selterman. He says he’s been using the extra-credit question since 2008. Sadly, in the case most recently reported, no one got any extra credit. Too many people (20%) greedily opted for the 6 points, so all lost out. In fact, Selterman says that only once since 2008 has a class successfully won the extra credit at all.

APPLICATION

Isn’t that just like human nature — to want what benefits us the most, even at the expense of what benefits others? Had these students only had the wisdom to seek the benefit of others, than all would have benefited.

If this principle bears implications for the college class room, the implications are even greater for the spiritual life. For in the Kingdom, it's not just extra-credit that's lost when we behave selfishly. The blessed life itself is forfeited.

“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want” (Proverbs 11:24).

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Are Rich People Unethical

Greed Narcissism Affluence

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-10-04

Scripture: Matthew 19:24

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The Drain Plug for Greed

Greed Giving Spiritual Health

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-03-30

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 16:2

Author: Fred Smith
7

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What Makes You Think I'll Give Anything To You

Humor Greed Generosity

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2014-03-26

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8:5

Author: Unknown
5

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You're Only Cheating Yourself

Trust (In God) Greed Reward

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-02-19

Author: Charlie "Tremendous" Jones
3

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Just Say No Thank You to Consumerism and Greed

Thankfulness Greed Worldly Mindset

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-11-04

Scripture: Psalms 107:1

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

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Can't Sell Thanksgiving

Thankfulness Contentment Greed

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-31

Scripture: Philippians 4:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

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How Much Land Do You Need

Greed Happiness Worldliness

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-01-12

Scripture: 1 John 2:15 ; Matthew 16:26

Author: Leo Tolstoy
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