“American Greed: Scams, Schemes, and Broken Dreams”

Photo by: Lynn Cummings

I like to watch the show “American Greed.” Not because I believe all Americans are greedy, far from it, we are some of the most generous people in the world. But the show goes into stories of how the greed of one person, sometimes a group of people, can scheme and connive and convince other people to make decisions that put the rest of their lives in financial jeopardy, if not ruin. The last episode I watched was about a former youth minister and included the outcome of one of his elderly victims who died while talking about what the man had done to their lives. She and her husband lost the home and land that had been theirs for nearly six decades; her husband died a short time later.

My fascination with the stories of greed, scams, schemes, and broken dreams sort of culminated and gave utterance to me in my devotional this morning. I stumbled onto 2 Peter 2 (I say stumbled because it wasn’t where I planned to be), and this portion of a verse stood out from verse 18:

“…for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.”

These scammers are so good at selling us what we want to believe, we become susceptible to their lies and vulnerable to their deceit. When we start seeking things, or money, or fame, or whatever is promised at the bottom of the rainbow, we soon become addicted to the lure and enslaved to the hunt.

I often wonder, in my concern over being secure in the future or in selling my writing, what is my achilles heel that could bring me down, because I have been blinded by the need for it and devoted to the fulfillment of it.

The devotional included 2 Peter 2:4

“For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment:”

All I’m sayin’ is, if God doesn’t spare angels, we need to rethink some of the things we allow in our lives because they feel good. You know, some of those things that enslave us.

I wound up at 2 Peter 2:9:

“then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,”

Now that’s a comforting thought. I don’t have to be enslaved to my own greed for things that might not be good for me, I can actually be free and live for a larger purpose in life. And those who live for greed and to defraud others, well God has a plan for them as well.