Posts Tagged ‘coveting’

Pointless Coveting

Friday, November 8th, 2013


Ten years ago, my mother asked me to look through a department store catalog to see if I wanted anything. She was trying to figure out what to get me for Christmas. I told my mother that I didn’t need anything. As I turned the pages, there was really nothing I wanted. But then I saw a beautiful red and gold duvet with throw pillows, and it looked gorgeous. I looked at the price. It was nearly $200. I laughed at how ridiculous the price was, as if anyone in their right mind would pay that much for a decoration for a bed.

Fast-forward 10 years. I was wandering around at a yard sale with my mom. I found the exact duvet I had wanted for 10 years. It was $10. I looked up to God and thanked Him for giving me what I had wanted for so long. God indeed knows the desires of our hearts and remembers everything. I had actually forgotten about the duvet.

I went home and put the duvet on our bed, and it looked just as lovely as my dreams. I smiled.

When my husband came home from work, he wanted to lie down on the bed, but it was covered with a fluffy duvet and five throw pillows. He wondered how to undo it so he could just collapse. I helped him to know where to put the pillows.

After a couple of days, I realized that the gorgeous, fancy duvet was highly impractical. It took up way too much space when I took it off the bed. I nearly crashed over some glass candle holders to get it off the floor so we wouldn’t trip on it to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. There was nowhere to put it.

And every time I wanted to lie down, there was now an impediment in the way.

I realized that what I had wanted for 10 years, I didn’t actually want.

I wonder how many things we covet in life that aren’t actually good for us. That when God gives them to us, we don’t even want them any more.

Or worse, we plunge our families into suffocating debt because of our covetousness. And then we pay the penalty for years because of endless fees on credit cards.

Years ago I asked God to change my heart to give me desires that would bring Him glory and that would actually matter for eternity. When you ask God to change your heart, He does. My greatest desire right now is for women to grow in their walk with God, especially in the area of prayer. When God fulfills the desire that He plants in your heart, you feel incredible joy and you’re never disappointed.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (ESV)

Delayed Gratification is Still Coveting

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011


How long is your wish list? When you see something that you want at a store, do you buy it right away, or do you wait and pray about whether God wants you to have it or not?

I used to go the mall with my best friend, looking through the store windows. I would see a pair of black lace-up boots that would look lovely with a dress I had. So I would go inside, only to find out they cost over $100. Oh, well, I thought to myself. Some day when I’m rich…

But even though I delayed my gratification, I still coveted those boots. Just because I didn’t plunge myself into debt doesn’t mean that I didn’t covet those boots just as much as the woman who did purchase them. Yes, wisdom dictates waiting before purchasing a larger-ticket item, especially if you can’t afford it. But then you think, “What if I come back and they’re all gone?” Does that line of thinking justify my purchase?

On the other hand, God is a loving God who lavishes gifts on us. Time after time God has provided extreme luxuries for me just suddenly out of the blue, providing miraculously something I didn’t deserve. Like the anniversary trip to the Bahamas, where I got the tickets dirt cheap because it was hurricane season. And then instead of vomiting the entire time (which I was expecting due to the weather forecast), God put His hands around the ship and gave us sunshine all day every single day. God is rich. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and He owns me. He owns the hurricanes and storms that were all over the radar, making my sister wring her hands as she prayed for me.

I thought about the thousands of people who died in Japan and Haiti because of a tsunami or an earthquake. The weather <BOOM> killed thousands in one moment. And yet God protected one ship in the middle of a radar with red swirls everywhere. Did God sweetly protect our ship just for Alan and me, because we needed rest so badly after a sad year of suffering? Did my cry reach the ears of God, and did He alter the weather just for me?

Yes, I believe He did. My God controls everything. He rules. Not a single atom is out of His control at any moment.

So God is lavish, even though He sometimes allows us to go through horrendous suffering. I’m not saying that God is stingy, or that you have to have a poverty mentality where you can never have anything you want, hanging your head in a resigned manner. No.

But the vast majority of the things we covet aren’t even what God would want for us. The bigger TV only causes us to spend more time with our idolatry. The cute clothes make us look in the mirror and have vanity. The gorgeous house makes us look at other people’s houses with contempt, because we have better taste.

Our goal in life becomes the accumulation of more and more pieces of matter, arranged carefully around us. The pieces of junk magnify our sin, or they create new areas of sin. They are just pieces of matter that will be burned up at the end of the world. They distract us from our relationship with our Creator.

So are you content? How long is your wish list? Where is your heart?