3. How Do We Prevent Coveting From Taking Root in Our Lives?
Every sin is a manipulation of what began as good. Many of the things we covet may be of great worth. We may desire a talent, experience, home, family, or relationship. Each of these things may be used unto the glory of the Lord. They are not sinful in and of themselves. Our Father intended all good things to stir our affections for him in recognizing that they came from his hand (James 1:17). As we enjoy what he has given, we enjoy the Giver himself.
The problem becomes when we terminate our gratitude and adoration upon the thing itself, and not upon the Lord who gave it. Instead, our enjoyment of good things should draw our hearts to worship the Source.
Yet, Scripture also makes clear that our worship is not dependent upon our possessions or circumstances. We are to be a people with an eternal mindset, storing up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21). We are to recognize that this world is passing away and only that which is found in the Lord will last (1 John 2:17).
In all of this, we need to be evaluating our desires because they are prone to perversion. They are not to be trusted or pursued without first being filtered through Scripture (Philippians 1:10).
When we find ourselves coveting, we need to assess the object of our desire. Do we long for it for the sake of our own pleasure? If so, we need to be wary. Our prayers may well go unanswered if we are asking simply at the behest of our earthly passions (James 4:3).
We are made for more than this world offers. Our greatest purpose is to walk in his likeness (1 John 2:6) and make him known (Matthew 5:15-16). In his word we are equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17).
For what is truly important and lasting, we have everything we need.
Our daily desires draw us to find contentment in the Lord’s presence and be renewed in his presence again and again. We either act as good stewards of our desires and allow them to fuel our worship, or we abandon our responsibility to filter our emotions and allow them to lead us into coveting. Let us learn to pray with the psalmist, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:14).
Satisfaction and contentment do not speak to our own glory. They celebrate the One in whom all needs are met – the One who is to be enjoyed for all eternity. When we forsake covetousness, we proclaim the goodness of the Lord to ourselves and all who surround us.
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With a heart for teaching, Madison Hetzler is passionate about edifying fellow believers to be strong, confident, and knowledgeable in the Word of God. Madison graduated from Liberty University's School of Divinity and now instructs Bible courses for Grace Christian University. She cherishes any opportunity to build community around cups of coffee and platters of homemade food.