Archive for the ‘greed’ Category

21:6 Gain of Lies

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Enron complex.

Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.—Proverbs 21:6

The collapse of Enron Corporation revealed a great scandal. Through systematic fraud, it had presented a prosperous front before its bankruptcy in 2001. CEO Kenneth Lay died of a heart attack while awaiting sentencing.

Fraudulent schemes such as Enron’s are all too common. Some, in fact, are quite politically correct, such as the vast fraud at Fannie and Freddie which, under guise of concern for the poor, helped bring about the housing collapse of 2008. Carbon credits, a current favorite, is promoted by certain environmentalists supposedly to reduce carbon emissions, but actually to transfer wealth, especially to its high profile political promoters.

All such schemes are driven by greed. Inevitably little people get hurt by them. And what, in the end, do the chiselers at the top reap from their plunder? At most they will enjoy their gains a hundred years and afterwards cannot take a penny with them as they slide into eternal death.

The character of Christ is so different. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). We cannot imagine the wealth and glory that Christ left behind him in heaven to descend to earth, live as a pauper, speak truth fearlessly, and die the death of a criminal. For that self-sacrifice God has given him the name that is above all names.

The Enron image is from Eflon on Flickr. / CC BY 2.0

15:27 Greed’s Grim Outcome

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Sir Francis Bacon.

Sir Francis Bacon.

He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house; but he who hates gifts shall live.

When Francis Bacon was Lord Chancellor of England, he—or at least his servants—accepted bribes from all quarters. Whether these bribes influenced Bacon’s decisions is not clear; after his disgrace he called God to witness he had been the fairest of judges. At any rate, the wealth so easily gained was also quickly dissipated, and Bacon declined into deep debt.

A commission investigated. It returned numerous counts of wrongdoing. Bacon signed a confession and King James I dismissed him in disgrace. He was forbidden ever again to hold public office. His wife having already betrayed him, and the couple being childless, Bacon had no family to suffer with him, although posterity, enamored of his scientific and philosophical writings, has often wished his practice had been more in keeping with his precepts. Bacon died alone in a mansion empty of all but a caretaker.

Christ was once offered a bribe—all the kingdoms of the world—if he would but honor Satan, and he rejected the temptation with a sharp rebuke from God’s word.

Any Christian in a position of authority—be it only authority over a child—should firmly resolve never to consult his or her interest in determining the resolution of a matter but only the justice of the case.