Coveting Hurts You

Luke 12:15 – And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Acts 20:35 – In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” 

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Why does it matter if our car was made in Korea or Germany? Why do people fret over the latest generation of technology when the old one does pretty much the same thing for a third of the price?

Consumerism has become a religion. It’s how we gain social status and prestige in the eyes of others. Malls are churches. The problem is not in the stuff that we hold but in the stuff that holds us. The issue is not in our hands but in our hearts.

There’s a little line with big implications tucked away in Acts 20:35. It is the only place in the Bible you can find the “words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

The truth is that giving is the blessing. God is the most generous person and is, therefore, the most blessed. The apostle Paul describes a giver as cheerful because when we give, we are blessed to share in God’s joy. Out of love God “gave his only Son.” Giving is love in action.

Coveting also leads to bad stewardship, where we spend more than we should to give to ourselves rather than also giving to God and others, which contributes to our debt. For these reasons, coveting is not just a personal problem. Coveting ruins relationship with people we could be loving if we were not so consumed with coveting.

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