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"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice -- the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him." Romans 12:1

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Seven Deadly Sins: GREED

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Our Scripture reading for tomorrow morning is Matthew 6:19-34.

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One of Greed's favourite words is, "Mine!"

To prepare for our service tomorrow, I thought this illustration from C.S. Lewis's "Screwtape Letters" would help us prepare to think about greed and how greed encourages us to make more and more things "mine!"

Here the fictional devil Uncle Screwtape writes to his nephew, Wormwood:

"The sense of ownership [in human beings] is always to be encouraged. The humans are always putting claims to ownership that sound equally funny in Heaven and in Hell and we must keep them doing so ... [They act as if they were] a royal child whom his father has placed, for love's sake, in titular command of some great province, under the real rule of wise counselors, [who comes] to fancy that he really owns the cities, the forests, and the corn, in the way he owns the building blocks on the nursery floor.

We [the demons] produce this sense of ownership not only by pride but by confusion. We teach them not to notice the different senses of the possessive pronoun -- the finely graded differences that run from "my boots" through "my dog," "my servant," "my wife," "my father," "my master" and "my country," to "my God." They can be taught to reduceall these senses to that of "my boots," the "my" of ownership.

And all the time the joke is that the word "mine" in its fully possessive sense cannot be uttered by a human being about anything. In the long run either Our Father [i.e., Satan] or the Enemy [i.e., God] will say "Mine" of each thing that exists, and specially of each person. They will find out in the end, never fear, to whom their time, their souls, and their bodies really belong -- certainly not to them, whatever happens. At present the Enemy [i.e., God] says "Mine" of everything on the pedantic, legalistic ground that He made it: Our Father [i.e., Satan] hopes in the end to say "Mine" of all things on the more realistic and dynamic ground of conquest."

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