February 9 I Wednesday
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” —1 Timothy 6:17
On every level, coveting is one of the most critical dangers we can inflict upon ourselves. Throughout history, it has been the cause of hundreds of wars. It is why countless marriages have ended and why prisons are full of those incarcerated for theft, assault and murder.
Coveting takes many forms. Gambling is one of the fastest growing addictions in North America and has driven many lives to ruin. Lottery tickets are sold every day by the thousands to many who cannot afford them. Billions of dollars are spent annually on bettering one’s appearance, and “get rich quick” schemes are draining people of their hard-earned dollars. Why? Because they are not content with what they have!
Paul writes, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). Paul is saying that material wealth, obtained by greed, can equal spiritual destruction. This is a solemn warning of how material desire becomes a spiritual disease.
The antithesis of covetousness is contentment. Though we often wish there was something about us we could change, we need to accept who we are and our lot in life. If we are not content with ourselves, it is unlikely we will be content with anything. We may envy success, status, abilities and appearances of others, wishing we were like them, but we need to be reminded of whom we serve and why. God created each of us individually and personally. In Ephesians 1:6, Paul speaks about the fact that God has made us accepted “in the Beloved” (NKJV), who is Jesus Christ. God accepts us and loves us as we are in Christ. There is a great hymn sung for decades in the Billy Graham crusades that goes, “Just as I am without one plea”—what a wonderful way in which to come to God!
As Christians, our treasures lie in Christ, which do not fade or vanish, nor are taken from us. As we walk humbly with Him, we store up an inheritance reserved for us in heaven and enjoy the many blessings He gives us on earth. To be completely content with who God made us to be, what He has given us and our circumstances is a genuine mark of spiritual oneness with Christ. In Him, the root of covetousness is dealt with, and His life in us becomes our means of true and lasting contentment.
Prayer: Gracious God, forgive me for the times that I have wanted something more for myself. You are all I need and I thank You for Your presence in me.