Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Covetousness Flatters the Flesh

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10). 

Many Christians acknowledge and accept that covetousness is sin. However, merely acknowledging and accepting that it is sin is not enough. One must practice it and keep one's word as  whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him (1 John 2:5). As Apostle Paul asked, "you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?" (Romans 2:21) to remind those who sought to teach and rebuke others to make sure they heed what they teach to others. such as to hold them to account for any hypocrisy.

It is easy to say that one acknowledges that covetousness is a sin, but the real question is whether one practices it. The tenth of the Ten Commandments is 'you shalt not covet' (Exodus 20:17). This shows how serious covetousness is in the eyes of God. 

Covetousness is not mere jealousy, or a mere desire for more than what one already has. To make such a claim would be very naive. Covetousness is the the lust of earthly things such that if one does not such things, one would be a person who is made useless or worthless. The spirit of covetousness is one that cannot find peace, but craving for earthly things out of a love for such things that will perish and ultimately keep people away from God. 

Hebrews 13:5 warns: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. A covetous person cannot find contentment, and because of an absence of contentment, he cannot find any true peace. He may be able to find the false peace the world offers,but he cannot be peace as his is possessed by his desires to gain earthly things at no matter what it costs, and more importantly, no matter what the means he uses to gain earthly things are. They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition (1 Timothy 6:9). 

Covetousness flatters the flesh with its outwardly innocent appearance and seduces with its ability to feed the flesh. Covetousness is idolatry as it seeks first and foremost the things of the world. In verses where the Bible lists specific sins, idolatry is listed among those with sexual immorality. In Ephesians 5:3, it warns, "Fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints". Likewise in 1 Corinthians 6:9, it warns, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [homosexuals], nor abusers of themselves with mankind."

Covetousness is craving of the earthly carnal things to serve one's own carnal wicked flesh. Such craving of that which is evil to serve one's carnal flesh is literally the root of all evil. Covetousness drives a person to love oneself. Where one loves oneself, one cannot love God for the human heart is by nature, not merely wicked, but "desperately wicked" and "deceitful above all things" (Jeremiah 17:9), and flesh is a slave to sin (Romans 6). Romans 8:6-11 makes it clear that serving the flesh is hostility against God: 

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

As the spirit of covetousness is one that seeks to serve the carnal flesh, and he who serves the flesh is a slave sin, such a person is possessed by the sinful nature. He cannot do anything good or righteous in the eyes of God. Such a person is a wicked person from who no good can come from. Since mammon is diametrically opposed to God, and mammon works through covetousness, covetousness is the root of all sin. It uses material earthly things to seduce people into all kinds of evil.