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Exodus 20:17 NLT states,
You must not covet…..
However I like this version.
You shall not desire… Exodus 20:17 TEV
What is coveting anyway? It’s an uncontrolled desire to have more. This sin of the heart and mind differs from the other 9 commandments in that it comes from within.
Is covetousness as bad as murder or stealing? Yes it is and it births other sins. All evil is basically a heart problem.
It’s hard in our culture to not want more. When you don’t control your desire it becomes covetousness from which spring five specific effects.
You get tired or fatigued. Never in our history has there been such a desire the have and people get worn out working for more and more. We are trying to keep up with all the images before us. We used to just be lure by radio or t.v. ads but now social media is out of control with marketing.
You will get in debt. Coveting destroys budgets. Anyone that relies on credit to get more will find themselves in impossible debt.
Stress or worry. The more you have the more you stress out trying to maintain what you have.
Conflicts or fights. Conflicts comes when you want more. Even in marriages most fights are over money. James says this,
You want what you don’t have, so you commit murder. You’re determined to have things, but you can’t get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don’t have the things you want, because you don’t pray for them. 3 When you pray for things, you don’t get them because you want them for the wrong reason—for your own pleasure.
4 You unfaithful people! Don’t you know that love for this evil world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God. James 4:2-4 GW
5) Dissatisfaction It is foolish to think that wealth brings happiness.
Wealth can take care of some issues and be a blessing to those in need, but this doesn’t
Bring lasting joy.
Jesus is the cure for covetousness. This is learned and does not come naturally. It has to be taught. Consider children. Babies cry for whatever they want. It’s natural for us to want what we cannot have. But just how does one learn contentment?
Resist comparing yourself with others..
Be grateful for what you have
Release what you have.
True happiness is not in getting what you want, but in blessing others. God blessed you so you can be a generous giver.
Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life. ! Tim 6:17-19 MSG
You may think this scripture does not apply to you but did you know that the 2-3% of Americans are on the bottom 5% of American wealth but they are still more wealthy than 60% of the entire world. To many in the world you are considered rich!
Stop thinking this scripture is speaking to someone else. Let God break that stronghold in your mind and use your resources for good.
But can you be poor and greedy? Can you be wealthy and not greedy? Yes to both questions.Don’t be proud of your wealth or put your trust in what you have. When you give do it cheerfully and remember that your security is not in your bank account.
Give to build for eternity. Your giving on earth is an investment toward your reward. Understanding this shows maturity in your life.
I want to leave this with you. Materialism, covetousness, clouds our vision of God. There is so much more to life than getting stuff. True happiness comes from knowing your purpose and fulfilling it. Our purpose, as born again believers is not only going to heaven, but helping others get there too.
Father help me to let go of this life and to not give in to the lust of the eyes. Help me to remember that things perish with the using. Let my only desire be to know you, to walk in Your Spirit, and to help others come to You. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
MEDITATE ON THIS
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17 ESV