The Devil Attacks Us Through Greed and Fear


Saint Augustine said the devil attacks us through fear and greed.

Saint Augustine said the devil attacks us through fear and greed.

Saint Augustine said the devil attacks us through greed and fear. When we don’t have possessions we pursue them (with greed). Yet, when we have accumulated possessions, we choke on the fear of losing them.

Throughout our lives, we often form these mental impressions that the devil is “personified” taking the form of a person. But yet the devil’s work can be found when we exercise feelings like greed. But fear as well can be an overwhelming feeling, and can be the work of the devil.

As human beings, we become weak and open to the worries that come along with fear. Those fear-driven decisions can often wind up being disasters. Isn’t worrying about what others may say, or what others may think always driven by fear? Why do we worry about things we cannot control?

We’ve all heard greed is the root of evil — because greed blocks our view (our path) to charity. On the flip side, charity is the root of all that is good.

Jesus told this parable:

“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’

And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’

But God said to him,‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”

Greed really IS a silly vice, and Saint Augustine was correct the devil attacks us through greed and fear. When the time comes, as your life here on earth slips away, to what good was accumulating, hoarding, not sharing all these earthly possessions? All you have, before you approach the next phase of your life, is yourself, your decisions, your soul. No possessions.

Faith is the Answer to Fear

All of us have fears–this is very normal. As a matter of fact, the feeling of fear is an essential part of our lives–it keeps us from harm by signaling danger and preparing us to deal with it. However, too much fear can rob us of all that God has in store for us. By allowing fear to cloud our thoughts and our behavior we are shunning God’s guiding presence, and allowing it to take control.

I am not talking about emotions of extreme fear here, instead what is most destructive are the fears that people act on unknowingly every day–for example, worry and anxiety. These little fears make it possible for fear to lure us into disobeying God because we are no longer able to hear his voice because of our preoccupation with our worries. Fear can be crippling if you let it overcome you completely.

To cast away fear from our lives, we must work on strengthening our faith. Faith is the Lord’s answer to fear. As God promised through the prophet Jeremiah, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

To help you turn your fear into faith, read this post: “Moving From Fear To Faith.”

Why Does God Want Us to Fear Him?

When you hear the word “fear” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? To my ears, this word is almost entirely negative. I associate it with the words “threat,” “punishment,” and “danger.” So when I started reading the Bible, I was baffled with how much it mentions and encourages Christians to have “fear of the Lord.” As a matter of fact, in Psalms 147:10-11, King David says that, “The Lord’s delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure is in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.”

But why would God want his children to fear him? Because if you ask me, I don’t want my children to be afraid of me. I want them to love and respect me, not feel scared of me. The last thing I want is for my children to distance themselves from me because all they feel for me is fear. I am pretty sure you have the same sentiments too.

So again, why does God command us to fear Him? Here is an answer that allayed all my qualms: Bible Q&A: What Does it Mean to “Fear God”?