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Thursday: Overcoming Covetousness — 7 Comments

  1. Perhaps the lesson this week has concentrated on dramatic covetous behavior, making it easy for us to excuse our own covetousness as of little consequence. But, as the wise man said:

    For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Prov. 23:7

    One of the things that I have learned about driving cars is that you cannot watch the scenery. You tend to steer in the direction that your eyes are pointing. If you are looking at a beautiful lake while driving, that raises the possiblity that you will end up in the lake. If you want to stay safe you need to keep your eyes on the road. If you want to watch the scenery, then it's best to pull over and not divide your attention.

    Likewise, with coveting. Keep your eyes on the direction you are traveling and not the things you want.

    I think I mentioned earlier that the commandment on coveteousness actually rates two, "Thou shalt nots". And it is also interesting that it is related to your neighbour. In modern terms, covetous behaviour affects those who are closest to us. Our fellow workers, our church members, and our families. Maybe we don't get squashed by heaps of stones or end up dropping dead immediately, but if our covetous behavior results in broken relationships we may have to live with the consequences for a long time.

  2. As Christians we need to not only pay attention to 1 Corinthians 10:13, as was suggested by the lesson, but also to verse 12 in the same chapter which states, "Let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." It's easy for us to identify someone else whom the lesson of covetousness is for, but we have to be mindful of the condition of our own heart and remain very prayerful, asking God for strength to overcome our faults, and remain strong in faith and obedience.

  3. I get completely lost when I leave my decisions to my "physical" human nature. True wisdom and peace are found only with the development of the spirit. With the fervent and constant search for the Holy Spirit, by means of studying of the Word and praying, I'm still not able to overcome my defects, but God can certainly give me that blessing. He gives to anyone who asks Him with a whole heart, which means not holding anything back from Him.

  4. I think to help us “tackle the human/sin problem", all we have is our faith in the Word of God. By saying ‘all we have’, I mean all we have to rely on is our faith that that which Jesus showed us is worth our trust to establish in our own life.

    Should my thoughts drift toward covetousness, I find it helpful to remember Phil.4:5-8: v.8

    ”Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

    A quick, honest check of the heart and mind will reveal whether these thoughts produce anything good and to arrest them (give them up), if necessary. I learned to be content with what I have and am grateful every day for the blessings I have received. In my opinion, a content and grateful disposition, in itself, is the only safe place from which to start when assessing things of interest.

    I think that entertaining/protecting a covetous disposition opens one's heart and mind up to want to satisfy one’s old, self-serving nature and displays its spirit of ‘competitiveness’ with others for goods or/and emotional satisfaction.

    No matter what it is that we covet, unless it is helpful to increase the love for our God and our fellow man, it is not worth following up on and risk exposing ourselves to compromising our integrity. To be genuinely committed to living our Faith in all things we do goes a long way toward a satisfying relationship with God and man.

  5. I'm surprised that the lesson author singles out the Tenth Commandment as being especially hard to observe, as if the other nine deal only with our deliberate actions. Certainly, the Sermon on the Mount teaches that we can violate any of the Commandments by our thoughts alone. For example, hatred is murder, and lust is adultery. I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to see thoughts of secular business as Sabbath violation, wrongful withholding of needed information as a malicious lie, etc.

    So, if my analysis is correct, the entire law of God is impossible to keep without the indwelling presence of Christ, daily and hourly prayer, and complete dependence on Him.

    • Very true - I think we have a tendency to limit the law, perhaps so we feel good about keeping it. But if you look at the spirit of the law, we so often fail to measure up. Then there are the sins of omission... We really do need Jesus!

    • I think the lesson is not so much the tenth being the worst as it is apropos to giving back to the Lord. If we by making a decision to serve God, pray daily, and get into the Word daily. We have thus put on the armor of God to resist the temptations of covetousness(withstand the wiles of the devil). Ephesians 6:10-11. Thus by overcoming covetousness we are in a better position to give back to the Lord.


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