The Cure for Covetousness [Part 2]

By Alan Wright — February 12, 2019

Are you ready for some good news?

Though a covetous heart makes the soul sick, God’s grace makes the heart content. The Gospel cures covetousness.

Today’s Text: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17, ESV)

Christians often confuse desire and covetousness. It’s not ungodly to have deep desires. Many Christians, knowing that we are to deny ourselves, begin to think that it is wrong to desire. But that is not biblical; God likes to bless the desires of our hearts.

Covetousness is not the desire of a good thing. What makes a desire covetous is the longing for something that is not supposed to be yours because it belongs to someone else. That is when it becomes insidious. It is not wrong to want to have a nice place to live. It is wrong to want to have your neighbor’s house.

It is not wrong to want to have a good mate.

It is wrong to look at someone else’s mate and say, I wish I had a spouse like that.

It is not wrong to want a good job.

It is wrong to say, I wish I had her job.

It is not wrong to want to have a happy, healthy family.

It is wrong to look at someone else’s family and say, Why can’t my family be like that?

The other extreme, which finds expression in forms of Eastern mysticism, some New Age mentalities and Buddhism, is that desire leads us into trouble and causes our suffering; therefore if we could extinguish all desire, we would reach Nirvana.

The Gospel cure for covetousness is to find ourselves validated, affirmed, saved and eternally secure through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Then, when we know how laden we are with spiritual riches, who do we need to compare ourselves to anymore? The soul that is rich has no need to want. That’s the cure for covetousness. And that’s the Gospel!

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