This conference preview comes from Ted Scofield. 

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, it’s the last one on our list. Number seven, at the bottom, out of sight, out of mind. Anger, pride, gluttony, laziness, lust and envy — we’ll cop to all of those sins, but greed?

What? Who? Me?

Research shows that most of us agree: Greed is someone else’s problem, not mine. Wall Street fat cats are greedy, welfare freeloaders are greedy, millenials, baby boomers, short people, tall people, those people over there, anybody but me! During this breakout session at the upcoming Mockingbird conference (Friday, April 17, 10:30am), together we’ll explore how greed can be everybody else’s problem but our own.

5x08_-_Gliding_Over_All_12In his bestselling book Counterfeit Gods, my pastor, Tim Keller, tells us “even though it is clear that the world is filled with greed and materialism, almost no one thinks it is true of them.” Plenty of hard data supports his observation.

Collectively, we are quick to identify greed as a serious problem in our nation and culture. In one large Zogby poll, for example, respondents cited greed as the number one most urgent moral problem in America. Number one! Poverty/economic justice came in second place.

The specter of greed haunts popular political buzzwords such as income inequality, fair share and living wage. Just recently, President Obama labeled rising income inequality as “the defining challenge of our time.” Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio argues his party must “take on those who are wealthy and ask them to do their fair share.”

Without a doubt, the politicians, pundits and pollsters agree: As a society, we have a serious problem with greed. But the mood miraculously flips when individuals are asked “Are you greedy?” Consistently only a handful of us, under five percent, will answer Yes.

Are we, as Tim Keller says, simply “in denial” to our own reality? Are we blind to our greed? Or is something far more nuanced and complex at work? Join me on Friday, April 17 as we try to answer these questions and unravel a great mystery: How can greed be everyone’s problem … but mine?