Posted by: rhenderson8110 | July 18, 2013

A Heart Trained in Covetous Practices

Marcus Aurelius once said, “How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.” A topic that has been on my heart lately is covetousness… or probably as we would call it today, comparison without contentment. I’ve been thinking a lot about how often I do this, how it affects my attitude and how it ultimately affects my intimacy with God. And the first thing that I realized is just how easy it is to do! This world is set up in such a way that it constantly pushes us to compare ourselves. You can’t turn on the TV without seeing a car you don’t have, a husband or wife that is in perfect shape, or the newest phone or ipod or kindle that you can’t afford. You’re also reminded that ‘You’re worth it,’ and urged to ‘Obey your thirst’ by companies like L’Oreal & Sprite. Oh and at the same time you’re on Facebook and everyone you know has a better life than you apparently. I mean, given all the honeymoons, new babies, new homes, job promotions and all. And then there you sit- all empty of blessings, filled with envy, eating potato chips with your credit card in hand ready to go buy something that you ‘need.’ Somehow it’s easy in these moments to feel kind of slighted- like someone (God) left you out… why wasn’t I invited to the blessings bandwagon that everyone else seems to be on? 

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The more I look into this topic I believe we live in a world that is designed to make us unhappy with what we have. Wasn’t that at the core of Lucifer’s decision to rebel against God? Before he turned his back on God a seed started to grow deep inside his heart and soul. That seed was covetousness. He wanted more from the One who had more than he did. He felt cheated. It ate him up from the inside out. Scary stuff. We cannot let this happen within us. This is one of those areas that we have got to acknowledge daily and get rid of it daily! Think seek and destroy. “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor.10:5) That’s a question I have to ask myself ALL the time- is what I am thinking in obedience to Christ? Am I demolishing anything that is against the knowledge of God? Are my thoughts destructive towards my relationship with Him or with others? Because we live in a world that is constantly whispering in our ears that we deserve more, that we won’t be happy until… and that our worth is tied up in the things we own- we must take every thought captive. Coveting plants a seed of bitterness. That seed left to grow will produce many things that will separate us from God. Coveting leads to jealousy, envy, greed, always wanting and seeking more and receiving nothing but more and more discontent and frustration. Let me tell you a secret- it will never be enough. Without God, nothing and no one ever is. Ever. It’s not a secret really, it’s just something that none of us can seem to get through our heads. It has been true for all time and will continue to stretch into eternity. God has placed me exactly where I am, with exactly what He wanted to give me, with exactly who I am supposed to be with. Exactly. Therefore it does not matter what my neighbor or my best friend have. We are fully equipped right where we are. And we must believe this if we are to avoid spiraling into a discontented and envious state.

In 2 Peter 2 it says that there were some IN THE CHURCH who, ‘have a heart trained in covetous practices…’ Could this be said of you? I know at times it could have described me. First of all coveting is a heart issue. This is not a quick fix. This is an on your knees, in your mind, purposeful daily choice. And one you must choose if you want to find true joy. The word trained here implies a mode of behavior, to teach by doing various exercises, a pattern of conduct. Is your heart trained in covetousness? Are you constantly comparing the blessings of your life to other people’s? At the gym or at school or at church, do you spend too much time comparing your body to someone else’s? It’s like a disease and the more you feed it, the more it grows within you- until you have a heart that is trained in covetousness. The verse goes on to say, ‘They had a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.’ Don’t become accursed. Don’t allow this to consume your life and hurt your relationship with God. Let’s get on our knees and thank God for being exactly where we are and for being fully equipped to do everything He call us to do!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24

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Responses

  1. Your dad would especially appreciate this blog….I remember having discussions with him on this exact topic! Sometimes it feels like he continues to speak through you!


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