This always begins by agreeing with God on the major problems that arise through coveting. 2 Timothy 3:2 says, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy…” Holy Spirit illuminated Christians make a point to grasp the problems which arise from a coveting heart.
Covetousness has always been a very serious menace to mankind. It was one of the first sins that broke out after Israel had entered the Promise Land. (Achan, Joshua 7) It is found in the early Christian Church as well. (Ananias and Sapphira, Acts 5) Thus there are many warnings against this life controlling sin. This sin is so powerful and abundant in the heart of mankind, it is addressed in the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:17, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
“Covet” (hamad) means to take pleasure in, to desire passionately. This sin causes people to desire that which is destructive. “Covetous” (philarguros) meaning people will want more and more, bigger and bigger, better and better and they will seldom be satisfied with what they have.
Walter B. Knight powerfully presents the destructiveness of the sin of covetousness, he writes, “Covetousness is a disease of the soul. It is soul-shriveling, character-tarnishing and personality-dwarfing. This sin tightens its grasp upon it victims as they grow older. It allows men to breath, but they never truly live. It’s victims may receive, but never give with a right motive. It’s victims become creation’s blot, creation’s blank.” (Knight’s Treasury)
Jesus said this sin comes from the spiritual heart. (Mark7:22-23) The Bible says it engrosses the heart. (Ezekiel 33:31; 2 Peter 2:14) This sin is idolatry. (Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 3:5) Covetousness leads to injustice and oppression; (Proverbs 28:20) foolishness and hurtful lust; (1 Timothy 6:9) departure from the faith; (1 Timothy 6:10) intrigues people to lie; (2 Kings 5:22-25) commit murder; (Ezekiel 22:12) theft and domestic affliction. (Proverbs 15:7) Christians are to avoid those who are guilty of coveting and even pray against it, not wanting it within their own hearts. (1 Corinthians 5:11; Psalm 119:36) Learning contentment begins with fearing covetousness!