The Sin of Greed

Reading: Psalm 73


The following story was written by Howard J. Chidley and published in Fifty-Two Story Talks for Boys and Girls in 1914.  Now out of print, the book may be read free online.





A man once found a boy crying on the street, and asked the little chap what he was crying about. The child told him he had just lost a nickel. The stranger gave him another, and then the boy began to cry again. This greatly astonished the man, and he asked him why he was crying again. The little chap said, “Because, if I hadn’t lost that other nickel, I’d have two now.”


That was, of course, a very foolish way to look at it, but that is the way a great many people look at things. This is what is called covetousness. Covetous people always want something they have not, and so they are usually unhappy.


The way to be happy is to think of the things you have, and not of the things you have not. A man was once told that Caesar was going to cause him great unhappiness, and he replied that if Caesar could blot out the sun with a blanket he might make him unhappy. But if he had the sun to shine upon him, he would still be happy. We all have the sun to shine upon us, and other things a-plenty to be happy over, if we will just count them up. Let us not be like the little boy crying about the nickel he did not have.





For Further Study:


  • Read 1 Timothy 6:6-12.  What do these verse teach us about greed?  What do they tell us to pursue instead of riches?



  • What do you want for Christmas?  What did you want for Christmas last year?  What about for your birthday next year?  What did you want for your birthday last year?  Do you see how there’s always something new to want and enjoy?  God wants us to enjoy what we have now.  What are the things you have now that you enjoy?  Say a prayer of thanks to God for them! 


Posted in Contentment/Thankfulness, Joy. Comments Off on The Sin of Greed
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