How to avoid greed

To avoid greed, I suggest the following:

  • Adjust one's thinking. Benevolence begins in the heart.- Obey commandments, such as "Thou shalt not covet."
  • Love your neighbor as yourself. Feel brotherhood. Most people now on earth, as in the past, are poor in worldly possessions. Jesus chose to be born and live among the poor.
  • Pay tithing. Give donations in a spirit of gratitude.
  • Don't buy lottery tickets, nor gamble. Jackpots appeal to greed.
  • Be intelligent in your response to advertising, which often encourages greed. I find that understanding the purposes of advertising gives one control over desires it intends to stimulate.

For example, decide ahead under no circumstances to heed appeals to get rich quick, particularly when sponsored by a state lottery. The whole system deprives many of their money and rewards selfishness unjustly.

  • Be industrious. - Mary Jane Fritzen, Idaho Falls, Idaho

What we did:

Be thankful, content

  • Practice being thankful.
  • Pray often with gratitude.
  • Write down blessings on a chart.
  • Keep a gratitude journal.

Greed in our society today is a trap we need to avoid. As a family, it is important to practice being grateful for the real blessings we have. Pray often in gratitude. Keep a family journal of things you are thankful for. Being aware of our daily blessings makes us a more thankful and content people. - Melodee Tovey, Irrigon, Ore.

Causes blindness

I experience greed when looking for happiness from the outside rather than the inside. Believing that the next purchase or owning a house would be just the thing to make me really happy causes blindness to all the blessings Heavenly Father has provided. When this happens I know I'm not spending time taking care of my spiritual needs, and my prayers are "hitting the ceiling."

A great remedy is to become immersed in the scriptures and other Church-related materials. Reading such truths as "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10) teaches me that all the material possessions in the world will not give me what I truly want - peace in this life, and eternal joy with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and my family. - Kathy Doan, Salt Lake City, Utah

Have charity

To avoid greed, we must have charity. If we have charity, we will not favor; we will not want more than others; we will not steal and we will not hate others.

Also, we should be willing to give. There are more blessings when we give. We should be ready to share any blessing with those who don't have, both spiritually and temporally. This way we don't think of others as lesser or greater than others.

We can also learn to use what we have wisely and stop thinking of what we can't have or don't have. Learn to have what we need and not what we want. - Pamela Akinyi Obaro, Buru Buru, Kenya

Rich home life

My wife and I just moved into our newly built home. It just happens to be next to the Parade of Homes in our community with some very expensive houses. We were walking through the homes, and I kept making comments about how nice it would be to be able to afford some of the luxuries these homes provide. My wife was unaffected by it all. She exclaimed that she loved our home and the spirit we brought into it; it was suitable for our needs and was her castle.

This taught me that a home is made with more than materials; it is made with love and fun and work. It is made with the gospel being there. Greed is overcome by having a rich home life rather than having a rich home. - George Condie, Nampa, Idaho

Full tithes

In our experience, greed seems not to be a matter of money, but a matter of faith. I was a new, struggling school teacher fresh out of college with two young children. When I received my first paycheck in the mail, I realized it would not cover all our needs for the coming month. Up front, greed spoke to us in our hearts; we could see that we could not afford to pay our tithing. Fortunately, we did not stop there. We submitted to some introspection, soul searching and prayer and came to grips with our faith. We committed ourselves to pay our tithing, and included fast offerings and other donations.

Now, 40 years later, we see that we avoided greed in our lives by making a firm commitment early on to pay full tithes and offerings. - Richard Toyn, Farmington, Pa.

Gratitude attitude

Develop a gratitude attitude to avoid being caught in the web of greed. Learning to recognize opportunities to serve, and the virtual blessings already at our very fingertips will overshadow the desire to have things we think we need or want. How can one be greedy when his focus is on gratitude for what he already has?

Stop! Think! Look! Ingratitude blinds us. It is the worst of sins.

Develop, nourish and maintain a gratitude attitude by keeping a journal that always begins with a list of things you have noticed during each day for which to be grateful. - Polly Block, American Fork, Utah

Smallest of packages

The smallest of packages is a person wrapped up in himself. Far too many people in the world give little thought to what others think and feel. While selfishness seems to come easily and naturally, it is the forerunner of many ills of the world. Thinking of others and disciplining ourselves is the Savior's way.

Our Savior is the perfect example of unselfishness. If we are to follow His example, we must be concerned with the needs and feelings of others. We must be able to put our own wants and needs aside to show love and concern for others. - Phibi Jeredina Mwashi, Nairobi, Kenya

How to checklist:

1 Have attitude of gratitude; focus on what you have, not what you don't have.

2 Become immersed in the scriptures, pay full tithing.

3 Realize material blessings will not bring peace in this life or joy in the eternities.

4 Develop charity; be willing to give, share.

Write to us:

Oct. 24 "How to cope with multiple personal tragedies at one time."

Oct. 31 "How to avoid seasonal depression."

Nov. 7 "How to make the hymns more meaningful in our lives."

Nov. 14 "How to make the holiday season more meaningful."

Nov. 21 "How to apply teachings of Church auxiliaries in your home."

Nov. 28 "How to help someone cope with death of loved one."

Dec. 5 "How to maintain spiritual strength after full-time mission."

  • Also interested in letters on these topics: "How to make a will that will foster love, not jealousy, between children," "How to make transition from being newly married to becoming new parents," "How to plan ahead for the different stages of life," "How to avoid the gambling trap."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2524 or use internet E-mail: [email protected] Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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