Sins of the Spirit #5: Greed
During the 1980’s, Michael Milken worked for the Wall Street investment firm Drexel Burnham and was involved in one of the biggest cases of insider trading ever brought to court. He was assessed a $600 million fine and spent 22 months in jail. President Trump pardoned him in 2020.
Milken was rich – filthy rich. Besides his normal salary, which for 1982 was about $45 million, he was involved in more than 500 trading partnerships, one of which paid him $473 million. In one 4-year period in the 1980s, he earned about $1B.
Ivan Boesky was one of Milken’s trading partners. Boesky was rich, too. He owned an apartment in Paris, another one in London, a condo in Hawaii, and a suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Part of his money came from insider trading with Milken, which is illegal.
What would make very rich men like Milken and Boesky resort to illegal trading practices? The desire to make more money; i.e., GREED. Most of us would retire if we had a few million salted away. Yet these guys could only think of getting more, and they were willing to violate the law to do so.
Milken and Boesky are just two examples of a very common problem. Most people are not immune to the sin of greed. Much crime, abuse, and violence are motivated by the desire to get money. Even if we do nothing overtly illegal, greed can still have a negative effect on our lives and families.
Greed is one of those sins of the spirit that may be within our hearts this morning. It’s a sin that we must root out of our lives if it is there. We must seek to overcome it and put it to death.
What does the Bible say about greed? Today we’ll be considering a text that deals with this issue: 1 Tim. 6:3-11.
Notice several important Biblical principles regarding the love of money/greed.