Covetousness as a Servant

“Covetousness may be entertained as a servant, where it is not
entertained as a master—entertained as a sorvant to provide oil and
fuel to make other sins burn.”

Where avarice is the absolute master, the man is a miser ; but even he is not
more truly miserable than the man whose gainings only furnish opportunity for
indulging in vice. Such persons are greedy that they may become guilty. Their
money buys them the means of their own destruction, and they are eager after
it. Winning and saving with them are but means for profligacy, and therefore
they think themselves fine liberal fellows, and despise the penurious habits
of the miser. Yet in what respects are they better than he ? Their example is
certainly far more injurious to the commonwealth, and their motive is not one
whit better. Selfishness is the mainspring of action in each case ; the difference
lies in the means selected and not in the end proposed. Both seek their own
gratification, the one by damming up the river, and the other by drowning the
country with its floods. Let the profligate judge for himself, whether he is
one grain better than the greediest skinflint whom he so much ridicules.

Lord, help us to live for thee and not for self, and both in giving and in
spending may thy glory be our only aim.

Charles Spurgeon, “Illustrations and Meditations”