Inflation numbers are out on covetousness and the news isn’t good.
This is all about us and our neighbors. We are not to covet what our neighbors have and all people are our neighbors. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Can you hear it, “OUR NEIGHBORS”, “OUR NEIGHBORS”, it is that of “our neighbors” that we are to leave alone because it is theirs. It is the things of our neighbors we are not to lust after. To covet means to lust for, so do not covet what God has given to your neighbors.
Our Lord warns us with a parable about a rich man who was very foolish. He was trying to pile up the wealth to stay ahead of the Jones’ but what he didn’t know was that his life was to end that very night and he was focusing on the wrong thing. From Luke 12:16-21: “The ground of a certain man brought forth plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
So that covers it: Covetousness makes us treasure up for ourselves things on earth for which we will have no need. Then we don’t lay up any treasure in heaven toward God. Covetousness deceives us regarding our values. We place more emphasis on ‘things’ and miss the blessings of living for Christ and for others (our neighbors).
What about happiness? There is no other real source of happiness but God; and he is able abundantly, and willing to impart consolation to his people. As it says in 2 Corinthians 1:3, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.”
Happiness, joy and satisfaction depend on what we do and how we respond to things around us and what life dishes our way. The truth is that it is not possible for human relationships or material items to fulfill all of one’s needs. There is only one source of fulfillment and satisfaction which is a relationship with Jesus, God’s Son, the Anointed One. He is and has all that we will ever need.
Don’t let the “keep up with the Jones’ mentality of our culture distract you from the source of true happiness. “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, Philippians 4:12-13.
Happiness comes as we put our focus on the Lord. ”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”, Deuteronomy 6:5.
God is the source for all good things. “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness”, 1 Timothy 6:6-11.
It is good to have enough to keep ourselves out of poverty. And prosperity is a desirable thing. We cannot give without having something to give and I believe that the more we give the more we receive. It is balance we need. Do not lose focus on where the true wealth comes from.
Happiness does not come by gratifying our own desires but by bringing gratification to the Lord and fulfilling his desires. And as the Lord’s requirements are met, our needs will be taken care of, just like He promised in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
God Bless you,