Covetousness

 

 

One day Jesus said: “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15). Therefore, as it is fitting for the saints, we must beware of covetousness. What is covetousness? It is a greed for money or possessions, and those who are greedy for money and possessions want to heap up more and more money and material things for themselves and do not want to share their things with those who are in need and need their help. The apostle Paul called covetousness ‘a root of all kinds of evil’ for he said to Timothy: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10 – NKJV), and he told the Ephesians that no “covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5 – NKJV).

Solomon warned us against covetousness through these words: “Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom. Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not?  for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven” (Proverbs 23:4-5), “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity” (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

Jesus Christ spoke the following parable to warn us not to be covetous: “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:16-21). Notice that this man was already rich when his ground produced a good crop, and since he was covetous, when he saw his abundant crops he did not think of giving part of them to the needy but he decided to keep all his goods for himself and to enjoy them. However, he was called by God ‘fool’ because he refused to lay up for himself treasures in heaven.

Brothers, let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with what you have, for God Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ (Hebrews 13:5); and give generously and with a cheerful heart every time you are called to meet the needs of the poor or of your pastor, or you are called to pay for the expenses for the place of worship (that is, for the rent, the light, etc.), or you are called to do all kinds of good work, because this is the will of God. And, as Paul says, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8 – NKJV).

Do not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is covetous; with such a man you must not even eat (1 Corinthians 5:11).

 

 

 

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