Posted by: the warrioress | November 30, 2013

Covetousness

English: DC USA, Target, Black Friday

English: DC USA, Target, Black Friday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” – Luke 12:15

There is something missing when we’re always focused upon the next thing to purchase, or something else we feel that we “need.” Certainly there are the obvious and practical purchases:  food, clothing, television, radio, computer, and other basics like these, but I’m not referring to the basics of which most homes have within them; I’m talking about a sense of believing everything will be better or “right” if we just have that particular dress, jacket, shoes, IPAD, smart phone, car, ring, jewelry, purse, etc.

Are we living happily within our means? Are we satisfied with the material possessions that we have, or do we find ourselves always needing more? Thankfully, I’ve reached a point in my life in that I’m quite contented with what I have materially. I don’t need a brand new vehicle and my home and property are modest and paid for. It feels good not to have to make some mortgage payment until I die.

Certainly I could live in a fancier house, but I would have to work so hard away from it just to pay for something like that– no thanks. I’ve got enough clothing to have a nice outfit or three to wear to church or meet someone for dinner.

The only thing I really feel that we lack here is a good handyman (chuckle) perhaps. The limbs need trimming badly and the barn needs a good remodel/repainting. At any rate, I’m just so glad that I don’t have to be constantly “keeping up with the next door neighbors” in terms of always having the next or better material possession or the other. Life is simple, in this regard, and I love it this way!

I’m focused on the smaller things, the more important, really meaningful things: time with my young daughter, watching her grow up day by day and attempting to be there for her every step of the way, time spent with my beloved animals and friends; there is just no substitute for these in any store.

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Responses

  1. covetous? Yes, but too people tend to be obsessed with possessions to the point of idolizing. in fact, being materialistic is idolizing.

    perhaps I am, in that regard, a great deal as you. Only difference? I can fix and paint a barn. (smiling).

    May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless and keep you.

  2. You are right on point. Thank you.I don’t know about the US, but in Nigeria, I rearly hear contentment preached from the pulpit. Where did we throw Paul’s word that when we have food and raiment, we should be content?
    With the kind of words we hear, we are breeding,in the church, a generation of malcontents, easily entrapped in the deceitfulness of riches.

  3. Did Jesus want us to give up EVERYTHING, or just to be careful with covetousness and try to want just enough?

    Why are there “obvious practical needs” when Jesus tells us that his Father cares for sparrows by giving them food without them having to work for it and his Father cares for us much more than sparrows.

    Or can we have our Ipads and watered lawn if we have the right attitude? So Jesus didn’t really mean what he said?

    Has American Christianity turned Jesus into an urban smug, comfort-enough blanket?

    I don’t think people take Jesus seriously — and I don’t think they should. Well, on some of his teachings, that is.

  4. Back in my Southern Baptist days, before I returned to the United Methodist Church of my youth, it was not uncommon to hear Southern Baptist preachers (especially those with high economic aspirations for one day creating their own megachurch in the wealthy part of town) say, “Well, rich people need Jesus too.”

    Sabio brings up some interesting points, and this really is a tricky subject. Some would say, “It is easier for a camel to squeeze through a tight space in a wall than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. Then Jesus came, gave us the right words to say, and thus made it possible for a man to keep all of his wealth and still enter heaven as a Christian. Ain’t that great!!!”

    I’m not so sure. I keep coming back to something Jesus said more than once, “Behold, they already have their reward.” I interpret that to mean that the only easy, heaven-like experience they are ever going to have has been bestowed upon them in this narrow segment of bodily life in the here and now…and whatever comes later is a wide open crapshoot.

    One thing I can say for sure. Jesus did not find “money” and the “having of money” to be a positive or aspirational thing. It was always cast in a negative light of one sort or another. Jesus never said that he wanted people to go out there and make it really big on the money front. Nor did He say that he rewards people for their goodness and faith by doling out a lot of money to people. As the scriptures say, “The little that a good man has is worth more than the wealth of many wicked.” The thing I have always found unusual about that verse is that it seems to contain an unwritten assumption that wealth and wicked (the two “w” words) go together naturally like Dean and Jerry or Frick and Frack.

    If the Catholics are right and there is such a place as purgatory, it may be that all rich people who are also Christians may be required to spend some time there while God “burns off.” The scriptural basis for the idea of purgatory lies in the ideas of the Apostle of Paul about carnal Christians who will indeed be saved one day but will have to undergo a cleansing by fire to burn of “the chains they forged in life,” with a Christmas time tip of the hat to Charles Dickens.

  5. Well said, Warrioress. These mega-stores brag that they’ve given millions to charity, while their workers can’t afford basic food or utilities to the point where they depend on food stamps. It’s about as far away from any spiritual or moral system as one can get.

  6. So true. What a sad commentary about our society.


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