Devotionals by Skip Heitzig

January 19, 2018

Covetousness or Contentment?

By Skip Heitzig

Our attitude toward material things reveals a lot about us, whether we have a tight grip on things or a light touch. That's the subject of the tenth and final commandment: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's" (Exodus 20:17).

This commandment is different from all the others in that when you covet, nobody sees it. It's a hidden process of the mind. There are a lot of people who wouldn't place coveting in the same list as murdering or committing adultery—even many Christians don't regard it as something serious—but the Bible does. Today I want to springboard off this commandment and look at the covetous life versus the contented life.

Now, in Exodus 20:17, the word covet can actually be positive or negative—it can mean either delight or lust. But within the context of this commandment, it refers to an inordinate passion to possess or compulsion to have delightful things. God has given us impulses for survival, including a desire to acquire, which in and of itself is not all that bad. But when it comes to covetousness, it's a different story.

Covetousness reveals three things about a person: first, discontentment with God's provision. Complaining about the lot in life God has given you is an insult to Him and what He's given you. Second, covetousness shows a lack of love for your fellow man. Notice it's not wrong to want a house, a wife, or an ox—it becomes wrong when you want that which belongs to your neighbor, because it makes your neighbor the object of your disdain. And finally, covetousness eventually ripens into other forms of sin. Like the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, "Those who desire to be rich"—not necessarily those who are rich—"fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition" (1 Timothy 6:9).

Now let's flip the coin and compare that with the contented life as Paul described it in Philippians 4:11-13: "I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 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." Paul wrote this from a Roman prison, which tells me that contentment is something you have to learn. So how do we do that?

Number one is have a single eye—that is, in the context of eternity, have a devoted eye toward the Lord, seeing correctly and consistently where you're going. As Paul wrote in Colossians 3:1-2, "If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." A true citizen of heaven looks forward to seeing Jesus.

Number two is have a loose grip on the things of this life and be thankful for what you already have. In 1 Timothy 6:6-7, Paul said, "Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out." It's okay to have things, but we're simply stewards; God is the one who really owns it all.

Number three is have open arms. Simply put, a covetous person goes through life with catcher's mitts on both hands; a contented person gives and shares what they have, not holding on to it.

Remember this: everything you and I own is going to burn one day. So don't be encumbered by stuff. And as you look at the green grass on the other side of the fence, remember what somebody once said: "If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, there's a chance the water bill's higher, too." When you have more, it takes more to keep it up. God knows what you can handle, God has apportioned it to you, and God loves you.

Copyright © 2018 by Connection Communications. All rights reserved.

For more from Skip Heitzig, visit ConnectionRadio.org,

and listen to today's broadcast of The Connection with Skip Heitzig at OnePlace.com.

Broaden your understanding of God's Word with The Bible from 30,000 Feet Workbook, the companion to Skip Heitzig's book of the same name. This personal study will help you grasp the message of each book of the Bible and then use that knowledge to stir up your love and obedience to God.

continue reading...
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010

About Connect

Study through the Bible verse by verse. Host Skip Heitzig is senior pastor of Calvary Albuquerque, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

About Skip Heitzig

Skip Heitzig ministers to over 15,000 people as senior pastor of Calvary Albuquerque. He reaches out to thousands across the nation and throughout the world through his multimedia ministry. He is the author of several books including The Bible from 30,000 Feet, Defying Normal, You Can Understand the Book of Revelation, and How to Study the Bible and Enjoy It. He has also published over two dozen booklets in the Lifestyle series, covering aspects of Christian living. He serves on several boards, including Samaritan's Purse and Harvest.

Skip and his wife, Lenya, and son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Janaé, live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Skip and Lenya are the proud grandparents of Seth Nathaniel and Kaydence Joy.

 

Contact Connect with Skip Heitzig

Mailing Address
Connect
PO Box 95707
Albuquerque, NM 87199-5707

Telephone
 1-800-922-1888