On Guard Against Greed: Your Letter From Jim

On Guard Against Greed: Your Letter From Jim

Greed is an aggravation. It shows up everywhere. It is a mother sin, birthing mischievous and malevolent children. When Paul said that “our sins are common to man,” perhaps many of us should admit that greed is more common in us than most other sins.

Greed’s reign commenced in the garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve were not content with perfection and unfiltered fellowship with God (imagine the weight of that idea), but ate the forbidden fruit from a just-lit greed that brought on them and us the judgment of God. Greed is not only self-destructive, but is a weapon for others to manipulate us, as the garden sin illustrates. We see its luring hand in almost every advertisement. It is ever present. We tragically end the story of redemption with Satan fighting his final losing battle out of his heart’s unstoppable pernicious greed for the authority that only belongs to God.

Paul the Apostle said that covetousness slew him. Before conviction and repentance he reasoned, wrongly, that he satisfied the 10 commands of God’s Old Testament Law, but covetousness when revealed to his heart taught him otherwise. As he thought on it seriously, with the Spirit as the teacher, “sin became alive and I died” (see Rom 7:9-11).

Almost no other sin escapes greed’s malignant intervention having as many heads as mythical Hydra. All lusts of the flesh are at heart greediness, the inordinate affection and intense compulsion for more. Jesus told us to “watch out and be on your guard against every form of greed” (Lk 12:15).

It was greed that drew Demas away from serving the Apostle on his historic missionary journey. He “loved this present world,” and gave us good reason to doubt his place in the kingdom. Greed starts early in the life, and can last until the final breath, even when it should be clearest that “we cannot take it with us.”

Included is a story meant to be humorous, with a not-so-humorous message to the heart. I hope you laugh while reading this child’s tale. But try to see where you fit in. Enjoy it, read it as a family if you can, but remember that greed will, as goes the saying, “take you where you don’t want to go, and keep you longer than you want to stay.” There is a moral to the story.

Our CCW Travels

Steve, assisted by his son, Luke, just returned from another encouraging teaching trip to Mumbai and the Providence Seminary, where he taught for several days to eager students. This was his fourth trip there, and one of the best. Please pray with us for lasting fruit from this notable trip where students of multiple dialects studied the Missionary Letters, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. Several more trips within the states are coming up soon. Your prayers are so important. Thank you.

Yours with joy,

Jim Elliff and Steve Burchett

Piggy Fudding

Jim Elliff

One bright day the king marched into his castle with a message burning in his heart for his people. He shook off his royal shoes because his royal toes hurt.

He climbed up the twisting stairs of the turret to make a royal decree.

He opened the shutters and stuck his royal noggin out of the window. The trumpet was blown by the royal blowing person. The people stopped all talking and doing to listen to the king. Then he opened his royal mouth with these words:

“Today, my humble people, I will share some of my piggy fudding. Every royal subject will receive a speaping hoonful of my piggy fudding as my birthday gift to you, as long as there is enough!”

The people cheered, “Happy Birthday to the great king and may his bowl of piggy fudding last forever!”

And so the people got their own bowls and spoons and pushed to be first in line in front of the huge door of the castle so that they could come in one by one to receive a speaping hoonful of piggy fudding from the king. Some jumped in line before others, and most pushed at those in front of them to make sure they received their speaping hoonful. Just as the king thought, there was enough for one speaping hoonful of piggy fudding for every citizen.

Then the king climbed up the circling stairs of the turret to make another announcement. He stuck his royal noggin out of the window and the trumpet blew by the royal blower. And the King said: “I am happy to announce there is more piggy fudding, and so, you shall receive a second speaping hoonful of piggy fudding as long as it shall last. And any person who is not able to receive a second speaping hoonful of piggy fudding shall receive speaping hoonfuls every day of his or her life!”

And so, the king’s bowl dipper made himself ready to dip out more piggy fudding into their bowls, as long as it would last. The people rested that evening with the anticipation of both immediate satisfaction and a good chance at a bright future of piggy fudding feasts.

But this time, the people were slow to get into the line because they wanted to be one who would not receive a second speaping hoonful. Everyone became so kind to each other. “Please,” they said, “you go first to get your second speaping hoonful of piggy fudding. You deserve to get a second one from the king. Please get in front of me.” “Oh no, I could not,” said the other, “for you are the royal king’s favored subject and must therefore have a second speaping hoonful of piggy fudding.”

And so, no one would come into the castle to receive a second speaping hoonful for fear of not getting more speaping hoonfuls in the future. Not a single person!

“What?” said the king. The king climbed by up the twisting stairs of the turret and stuck his royal noggin out once more, as the royal trumpet blowing person blew the trumpet.

“My royal subjects! No one will receive a lifetime of speaping hoonfuls unless all the piggy fudding is eaten!’’

Now the people in the king’s country were perplexed. “What shall I do?” they thought to themselves. In fact, some people did come forward to receive a second speaping hoonful of piggy fudding, for they made their

children go, but would not go themselves! Some made their servants go, but would not go themselves. Some even forced themselves to go, but were not at all happy, for they did not know why they were doing it. And a precious few went to the first of the line because, they thought, “I want the others to have the lifelong speaping hoonfuls since I am quite content with what I have.”

Very soon the last dip of piggy fudding was dipped and put into the bowl of a sad servant who felt cheated by his master forcing him to receive it. And the doors closed. And most of the people who were not served cheered loudly for joy outside of the door!

The king climbed up the curling stairs one more time to the window in the turret. This was not fun because his toes hurt, but up he went. He opened the window, stuck his noggin out, and the trumpet blower blew one more time.

“Now,” said the king, “for all who did not receive a second speaping hoonful of piggy fudding, bring your bowl tomorrow morning and you shall receive your first speaping hoonful for the rest of your life!” Again, the people cheered and said, “Long last the speaping hoonfuls of the king!”

The royal subjects came early to the king’s castle with their bowls in hand in the morning. The doors opened and the dipper began dipping. But, every one who received a speaping hoonful, began to cry and moan. It was a speaping hoonful of gabage cruel. Oh, no! No one liked gabage cruel! As the people came out of the door of the castle their tears dropped into their bowls which salted the gabage cruel they were destined to eat for rest of their lives.

And, once more, the king ascended the tortuous stairs even with his sore toes, though it was such a sacrifice for him to do it, in order to make a final announcement to his subjects. He opened the window shutters and the trumpet blower blew.

“Oh loyal royal subjects. I hope you like what your greed brought to you — a lifetime of gabage cruel. You should have been like me, who thinks of others and not just myself. Therefore, I will let you do penance for your greed by being generous. When you receive your gabage cruel every day, you shall leave a kopek in the box to cover the expense of yourself and someone else.”

But they did not know that this “someone else” was speaking to them through the mouth of his royal noggin.