When it comes to financial and money related topics, the Bible has a lot to say about greed.
While many believe greed to be a fundamental part of human nature, the Bible is clear in teaching that we should resist all kinds of greed and we will prosper without it.
Bible Verses About Greed
Each of these verses can be instructive when dealing with greed. However, it is important to read the context around each verse.
To do this, read at least five verses before and after each reference below. Understanding the details of what the author is writing will help you better understand the individual verses.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 – But those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap, and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge people into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and by craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Proverbs 28:25 – A greedy person stirs up conflict, but whoever trusts in the Lord will prosper.
Luke 12:15 – He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed, because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”
Hebrews 13:5 – Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.
Proverbs 15:27 – The one who profits dishonestly troubles his own household, but the one who hates bribes will live.
Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Proverbs 11:24 – One person gives freely, yet gains more; another withholds what is right, only to become poor.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom?
Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom.
And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the good name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 John 2:16 – For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 – The one who loves silver is never satisfied with silver, and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with income. This too is futile.
Colossians 3:5 – Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.
James 4:3 – You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures
Psalm 10:3 – For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings; the one who is greedy curses and despises the Lord.
Proverbs 13:11 – Wealth obtained by fraud will dwindle, but whoever earns it through labor will multiply it.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
Ephesians 5:5 – For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy man, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Jeremiah 6:13 – For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is making profit dishonestly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.
2 Peter 2:3 – They will exploit you in their greed with made-up stories. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.
Mark 8:36 – For what does it benefit someone to gain the whole world and yet lose his life?
Proverbs 28:22 – A greedy one is in a hurry for wealth; he doesn’t know that poverty will come to him.
Proverbs 21:26 – He is filled with craving all day long, but the righteous give and don’t hold back.
Proverbs 20:21 – An inheritance claimed too soon will not be blessed at the end.
Matthew 23:25 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
Proverbs 23:4 – Don’t wear yourself out to get rich; because you know better, stop!
Proverbs 11:28 – Anyone trusting in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage.
Proverbs 14:31 – Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
James 5:1-6 – Come now, you rich people, weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you. Your wealth has rotted and your clothes are moth-eaten.
Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have stored up treasure in the last days.
Look! The pay that you withheld from the workers who mowed your fields cries out, and the outcry of the harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and have indulged yourselves.
You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous, who does not resist you.
Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is more desireable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.
Proverbs 22:9 – The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
Matthew 6:19-20 – Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Proverbs 20:17 – Food gained by fraud tastes sweet, but one ends up with a mouth full of gravel.
Psalm 119:36 – Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Proverbs 16:16 – How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!
1 John 3:17 – If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
What We Can Learn from Verses About Greed in the Bible
Several themes come up when looking at any verses about money.
In the above scriptures on greed, the main these I found are:
- God owns everything, and we are only here to manage his property.
- Righteousness is found in trusting in God, not in wealth.
- Greed is not solely about money. It can be about time, relationships, anything that we could put above our relationship with God.
- Being in too much of a hurry to gain wealth can lead to the opposite.
- Be generous is a remedy to greed and is a reflection of God’s generosity toward us.
- Gaining wealth at the expense of relationships is foolish. This is frequently referred to unjust gain in different versions.
- Greed stirs up conflict.
Other Scriptures on Money
There are many scriptures dealing with money and how to handle our possessions. Three more topics we have covered are:
- What does the Bible say about investing
- What does the Bible say about Saving Money
- Scriptures on Giving
My Final Thoughts on What the Bible Says About Greed
When you live in a country that has as much abundant wealth as the United States, greed can easily slip into your worldview.
We have luxuries today that no people in the history of the world could have dreamed. These luxuries can make it so that anyone who is ambitious is tempted to take shortcuts to get where they want.
The Bible pushes back fiercely against greed. The main reason is that it takes our focus off of what God has for our lives and puts it on things that are not eternal.
In my studies, I have come to learn that greed is a form of us wanting to control our world. This is the original sin that was exposed in the Garden of Eden. We don’t want to live by God’s rules. We want to create the rules ourselves.
By studying what the Bible says about money and applying it to our lives, we will not only avoid destructive forces like greed, but we will be able to have a positive impact on others.