Symbols of greed help us control internal avarice and use these desires for good. It’s important to be aware of what is going on around us and notice the symbolism in everyday life.
If we are aware of our greed, we can learn to control it and have empathy for others who may feel it too. The term is nothing new, as it has been around since ancient times.
What Is Greed?
Greed is a selfish and excessive desire for something. Desiring something is not necessarily greedy. It must be an intense want for something in excess of what you need and, more often than not, take away from someone else.
If greed is controlled, then it is no longer greed because greed is an uncontrolled longing for something with material gain or social value. This can be paying employees a lower wage so that the employer can make more. Or perhaps continuously skipping in line to take more turns than others waiting.
It’s important to note that greed can be caused by childhood trauma or environmental survival instincts. There are two sides to this coin. Greed can be caused by either a lack of needs as children or an excess of material desires without being taught to share or care for others.
This is in line with the fact that some people are innately greedy while others have learned to be greedy over time. While there are different causes and different levels of greed, there’s always one common denominator – it hurts someone. Sometimes, that someone is you.
Signs Of A Greed
Greed is easy to label but not always easy to spot. Those who are greedy tend to have at least a couple of these signs.
Greed is self-centered. People are never greedy for someone else’s benefit as that would classify it as something else.
Envy and Covetousness
Greedy people always want what someone else has. That other person doesn’t necessarily have more than the greedy person, but that’s a side effect of greed.
Lack of Empathy
Empathy and greed do not go together. If someone is caring, compassionate, and genuine, it is unlikely they are to be greedy. It’s difficult to hurt others when you are empathetic.
Greedy people will do anything to gain more. They may want more power or money, but either way, they will manipulate people in order to achieve their goals.
Greedy people always want more. No matter how much they gain, it will never be enough. This may be the strongest sign of greed.
Symbols Of Greed In The Bible
Greed is mentioned in the Bible multiple times. It is a work of the flesh that is soul-sucking, harmful to others, and pushes us away from God.
The spiritual effects of greed rob you of your spiritual health. Proverbs 1:19 says, “Such is the fate of all who are greedy for money; it robs them of life.”
Then later in the book, Proverbs 21:26 says, “He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.”
Greed vs. Love
Love does not envy, boast, nor is it arrogant or rude. Yet greed is all of these things.
Ezekiel 22:12 says, “In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.”
Greed Breaks Families
Greed can ruin even the best family, which is directly stated in the Bible. Proverbs 15:27 says, “The greedy bring ruin to their households, but the one who hates bribes will live.”
Greed is Corrupt
Greed corrupts leaders and people in power. In Isaiah, it speaks of how greedy people are like hungry dogs, corrupted by the likes of greed gained by power, now selfish and uncaring.
Isaiah 56 says, “His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, everyone for his gain, from his quarter.”
Which Color Symbolizes Greed?
Green is the color of greed. This is likely due to a common color of cash, which is green.
More often than not, it is money that is the root of greed, as money gives financial stability as well as power. This symbolism is enforced by the fact that green is also the color of envy, which is related to greed.
Flowers That Symbolize Greed
- Orchid – this flower can mean wealth and loyalty but has common ties to luxury and greed.
- Daffodil – because it is called the Narcissus, it is likely a greedy symbol because it is tied to narcissism.
- Honeysuckle – the sweet-smelling flower represents gluttony and greed.
Animal Greed Symbols
- Pig – a common animal of greed that also symbolizes joy and uncleanliness.
- Frog – a symbol of greed because they want to live in the water and the land.
- Hyena – a wild animal known for its greed and deceitfulness.
- Baboon – they often trick others into doing work for them, gaining them more free time and more food.
- Fox – known as deceitful and greedy creatures.
- Rooster – stands for greed and hatred in Buddhism.
- Snake – another deceitful and greedy symbol.
- Goat – their mouth movements began a rumor that they are always eating.
Tree That Symbolizes Greed
The money tree is a symbol of greed. Though it can also bring good luck and prosperity, if in the wrong hands, it is often a sign of greed.
This is a good symbol of how greed has another side if one is willing to learn. If positive-focused with others in mind, you can work hard and accept goodwill from others without becoming greedy. Prosperity is not wrong as greed is.
12 Symbols of Greed
1. Pile of Coins
A pile of coins is a common way to show greed. Because the coins are stacked up, not in use or stored, it is an easy way to show an excess of currency.
Dragons are great hoarders who search out treasures to keep them in their homes. They often steal these treasures with little care for who they affect.
3. All-Seeing Eye
Because it is seen on American currency, the eye is now a symbol of greed. It has old origins with many other meanings too, so it is the source that decides which meaning to give it.
4. Oil Rig
The oil rig is now a symbol of greed. Many people with stocks and ownership in the oil industry manipulate laws and restrictions in order for them to stay above the masses financially.
5. Golden Calf
The golden calf is a symbol of worship for greedy Israelites in the bible. It was made from jewelry as one of the first false idols, worshipping materialism and wealth.
Midas can turn anything into gold. But this was a curse because of his greed. Now he can no longer touch his loved ones or enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Mansions can be symbols of greed. This is a good example of taking too much for yourself when others are in need. Though controversial, it is still a symbol of greed.
Mr. Scrooge is a term used for someone that is cranky and greedy. It originated with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which has been retold many times to portray the effects of greed.
9. Money Symbol
Money symbols are a sign of greed. Whether on a money bag or in emoji eyes, this is a common way to show that someone is being greedy.
10. Power Symbol
The power symbol is another sign of greed. While it has other meanings, it symbolizes power, which is a common source of greed.
11. Hungry Ghosts
Hungry ghosts are symbols of greed in Buddhism. They are monsters who can never eat enough to be happy, so they are in an eternal state of hunger, which is what greed feels like.
Diamonds and other rare gems are symbols of greed. They are expensive luxury items used to show one’s wealth