Q: My grandmother’s will was fairly vague, and for over a year my aunts and uncles have done nothing but fight over it (although she didn’t have that much). My grandmother would be horrified. Why are some people so greedy? — B. M.
A: The longer I’ve lived, the more I’ve come to realize just how destructive greed can be. One reason is because a greedy person is never satisfied; as the Bible says, “All day long he craves for more” (Proverbs 21:26).
Greed is essentially self-centered; we want something for ourselves, and we don’t care what others may want or need. Greed also deceives us into thinking that nothing is more important in life than our money and our possessions. In addition, greed seldom exists by itself; instead, it’s often linked with other sins, such as lying or adultery or pride or stealing. No wonder one of the Ten Commandments states, “You shall not covet … anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).
Where does greed come from? It comes from within ourselves — from within our own hearts and minds. And that’s why we need Christ, for only God can forgive our sin and our selfishness and replace it with his love and compassion. Pray for your aunts and uncles, and as you have the opportunity, urge them to realize just how destructive their greed has become. The Bible rightly says, “The greedy bring ruin to their households” (Proverbs 15:27).
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As a footnote, I hope your letter will encourage people to think more carefully about their estates (even if they have little) and to do all they can to avoid misunderstandings or conflicts. But may it also remind us that the greatest legacy we can ever leave to the next generation is the example of a life that was lived for Christ.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.