Sunday, October 9, 2016

Of Covetousness and Contentment

UV 2089/10000 Of Covetousness and Contentment
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 v 5

Our conduct or our speech should not hold any trace of covetousness. To avoid covetousness is one of the ten commandments given through Moses under the old covenant. We should avoid desiring what belongs to another. Only what the Lord has decided in His grace and mercy to put into our hands belongs to us. We are to be contented with the portion that the Lord has ordained for us. We are to be contented and thankful for the blessings He has poured into our lives. Covetousness led Adam and Eve into sin and the fall. As long as we have enough to eat and to wear, we should be satisfied and not be pining for more and more. This uni-verse comes with the promise that the Lord will never leave us or forsake us. He would be with us forever. He will meet our needs according to His glorious riches of heaven and earth. All the silver and gold on the earth ultimately belongs to Him. He can give it to those He desires.

The crux of this uni-verse is that we should never transfer the center of gravity of our faith from the Lord to the things of this world. We should only desire His presence with us for If He is present with us, if He resides in us, we will never be short of what we need for as the Psalmist wrote, “ He denies the righteous no good thing. “ Covetousness is due to deep insecurity that our needs will not be met, both those of the present and of the future. We desire to guard ourselves against the many uncertainties of life by providing enough for our old age, our times of ill health, for the needs of our children and the next generation. We seek to store up more and more as an insurance against future needs. When we do so, our faith is transferred from the Lord to our treasure. We measure all benefits in terms of our monetary gain and in terms of monetary value. Love of money will surely, slowly and subtly creep in on us and replace our first love for the Lord when we just had enough to meet our needs. This is the reason that Jesus warns us that we cannot serve both God and money, either we can love God and hate money or love money and hate God. Covetousness causes us to be selfish and untrustworthy. It affects our relationships and our choices in life adversely.

The Lord wants to be the immediate, ultimate and only source of trust and security of our lives. He promises to help us in our hour of need. He promises to satisfy our physical needs of hunger, thirst and shelter. When we place our faith in our bank balance, it detracts from our faith and His lordship. It goes against the very nature of the Lord as a faithful, kind, generous provider. It delights Him when we look to Him for our every need and we do not serve Him just to secure blessings or due to our greed for filthy lucre or monetary gain. Our attitudes should be characterised by constant thankfulness, trust, hope, confidence and a sense of security. We should be contented and thankful for the income we currently have, the assets the Lord has blessed us with. If we are not so contented, the enemy of our souls will rob us of our peace, our faith, our health, our joy and at times even our salvation. We will be led into the error of Balaam, the prophet who sought rewards from the enemy king or like Gehazi, the servant of Elijah the prophet who ran after Naaman, the general to secretly claim a reward. Covetousness will lead us to the sin of Ananias and Saphira who suffered judgement and sudden death as they held back from the apostles part of the proceeds of the sale of their own house. Instead of desiring to be richer than others, we should seek to be rich in testimony, rich in our faith towards the Lord. Truly, contentment with godliness is the greatest gain. It is the kind of gain that thieves or robbers cannot take away or what rust or moth cannot destroy or decay.

Prateep V Philip

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