Not What I GotCoveting

Bill Brinkworth

Although there are crimes and harm done to many, few see the root cause of most wrong-doing. The sin of coveting, or not being content with what one has, rears its ugly scowl on a daily basis.  It is often the driving force in:

Coveting is sin no matter what is desired; be it money, fame, clothing, toys, houses, bicycles, education. It is the breaking of God’s command.
“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.” Ex 20:17   Also: Deuteronomy 5:21, Romans 13:9

Although the grievous grasp of the sin of coveting has always been a temptation, it is very enticing today. The whole television industry is funded by ads feeding on man’s weakness of wanting more.  Stores line most streets displaying wares that are “new, improved, and better.” Advertising works very hard to magnify one’s discontent of what they have; so that others will purchase the newest item.  On and on the temptations rage, pulling one in the direction of this “tolerated” sin.

Like any other sin, coveting is not acceptable in God’s eyes.  That is why God commands us to abstain from it.  He wants us far from this sin, not because He wants to deny our having the pleasures of life, but because they often lead to an unsustainable appetite and lust that can never be satisfied.

The only way one can achieve victory over this sin is to first admit to God, that it is sin.  He knows it is, but God wants us to humbly admit our short-comings and disobedience to Him.  Discontentment is saying indirectly that we are not happy with what God has allowed us to have. Secondly, be content with what you have, and you will be happier. Be truly thankful for what you have, and thank the Lord for His allowing you to obtain it.  Perhaps, this is why the scripture has far more verses on being thankful and giving praise, than it does on getting the things of this world.

There are times when new things are needed; and God certainly does not want us to live in purposeful poverty, when He can provide our needs.  However, He does not want us to be led by lusts that never can be satisfied. Be happy with what you have.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11
“And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” I Timothy 6:8
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”  Hebrews 13:5

“The man who covets is always poor.” — Claudian


Also, read the article: Never Satisfied and The Coveteous Son.

This article was featured in The Bible View #284.

The wordsearch puzzle, Covet Not, will reinforce this lesson if it is taught.

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