In my way of thinking “Greed” is the unethical gain of power and wealth. Gain by unethical means is always evil. Unethical could be defined as taking from those who cannot afford the loss. Using words of malice to destroy another’s reputation, character, or taking life to gain their possessions or power.
The desire to earn for the purpose of caring for your family is a god-given desire; and even to better one’s own situation in life. The object is being content with what you are doing and your present situation. Content with God’s direction for your life is probably what is meant by being content.
The writer of Proverbs; probably Solomon says,
“He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.” Proverbs 15:27 (KJV)
This coming from a man who had more wealth than, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates combined, for the time he lived in.
It is implied by the latter part of the verse that this “greedy gain” has been gotten by the receipt of “gifts” or “bribes”. A bribe is given to get an individual or possibly a company, or someone in power to “look the other way” when an evil deed is taking place, is about to take place or will take place. A decision by a judge, law enforcement officer, or business associate, etc. Sometimes even a friendship can cause one to be “bought”; or even a family relationship.
It should be the heart of the Righteous to hate “Gifts”; the giving or receiving of “bribes”. Bribery will destroy the giver and the receiver ultimately. It may line the pockets of the bank account temporarily; but it will also work as a cancer in the heart, and destroy that life and loved one’s lives.
The following is commentary from Matthew Henry of Proverbs 15:27,
Note, 1. Those that are covetous entail trouble upon their families: He that is greedy of gain, and therefore makes himself a slave to the world, rises up early, sits up late, and eats the bread of carefulness, in pursuit of it—he that hurries, and puts himself and all about him upon the stretch, in business, frets and vexes at every loss and disappointment, and quarrels with every body that stands in the way of his profit—he troubles his own house, is a burden and vexation to his children and servants. He that, in his greediness of gain, takes bribes, and uses unlawful ways of getting money, leaves a curse with what he gets to those that come after him, which sooner or later will bring trouble into the house, Hab. 2:9, 10. 2. Those that are generous as well as righteous entail a blessing upon their families: He that hates gifts, that shakes his hands from holding the bribes that are thrust into his hand to pervert justice and abhors all sinful indirect ways of getting money—that hates to be paltry and mercenary, and is willing, if there be occasion, to do good gratis—he shall live; he shall have the comfort of life, shall live in prosperity and reputation; his name and family shall live and continue.
FROM Matthew Henry Commentery; e-SWord edition
Even if someone has fallen for the lie and given in to the temptation of this greed, there is forgiveness and cleansing through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; His death, burial and resurrection. Be clean and go and sin no more in this evil.
-Tim A. Blankenship