Thoughts on Coveting


My son, Yuri, and I are doing regular reading from Bob Schultz “Boyhood and Beyond: Practical Wisdom for Becoming a Man” as part of his homeschooling. There are a lot of insights from that book about real “practical wisdom” that are worth reading, re-reading and applying in daily life. This morning we came to that chapter on coveting or greed that really struck me as we read it. I would like to share some of Bob’s thoughts here. I hope it will help you fight against this idolatry which is very “rampant” among us and which we should "put away" and replace it with the precious word of God (James 1:21).

“When man covets, he is unable to enjoy the presence of God. Foremost in his mind is the item he wants. He dreams about it. He schemes about how to get it. He becomes so full of his desire that his heart has no room to experience God's presence. The man has lost his trust in God to supply his need ["according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19)]. His focus, his attention, is getting the item he wants. Sometimes he will resort to whining, to deception, and even to outright theft. That is why the Bible says that covetousness is idolatry [Eph. 5:5; Col. 3:5]. It is having something in your hearts that holds more of our attention and desire than God holds….

If something doesn't belong to you, don't covet it and don't possess it. If you find an item that was lost or stolen, locate the owner and return it. The usefulness and happiness of a man does not depend upon what he acquires. Fullness of joy depends upon the awareness of God's presence ["You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." ~ Psalm 16:11]. Anything that threatens that awareness is not worth having.”

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