Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Covetousness Does not Necessarily Demand An "Unfair" or "Excessive" Share

 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 12:18-21).

Many people think that to be covetous means to demand more than one 'deserves', or more than one's "fair share". However, this is far from the Biblical understanding. In Luke 12:13, a man asked Jesus to tell his brother to give him his inheritance. This inheritance was distributed under the Jewish law.  He said to Jesus: "Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me". Jesus did not seek to be judge or arbitrator of the property dispute between the man and his brother. He replied: "Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?" (Luke 12:14). Jesus did not answer the question as to who had the "right" to the inheritance and in what share. Instead, He "said unto them, 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) and told the Parable of the Rich Man in Luke 12:16-21:

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, 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.

It must be noted that Jesus did not answer the question to whether the man had the "right" to the share. This is significant because it shows that the question was an illegitimate one, asked in the wrong manner of spirit with the wrong motives. The man was covetousness, which was why Jesus instead warned him to beware of covetousness for life consists not of the abundance of things he possesses (Luke 12:15), rather than answering his covetous question. It must be noted that the Bible did not indicate that the man was making a wrongful claim under the Jewish law for his share of the inheritance. Thus, it cannot be said that Jesus avoided the question because of this. Rather, that Jesus warned him of covetousness and illustrated covetousness with the Parable of the Rich Man indicates that Jesus was rebuking him for his covetousness. It was not a matter of whether one has one's "fair share", but rather whether one is covetousness.

It is all too easy to think that a person is covetous only when he demands more than his 'fair share', but is simply seeking "fairness" and "justice" when demanding his 'fair share'. The world loves to talk about getting its "fair share". Even many in the modern western Church love to talk about their "fair share", owing to being influenced by the world. 

The whole idea of getting one's 'fair share' because it is justified is of covetousness and envy. It is to seek one's own fleshly desires to be satisfied of what thinks oneself entitled to. The very thought of thinking oneself entitled to anything in the first place is the height of pride, which of course, most people do not realise because they are so proud. It is all too appealing to the flesh to think that one is justified in getting what one wants, and justified to think that such a thought it justified.  This manifests in one believing in the 'fair share', in seeking to justify such a self-entitlement, while yet trying to claim that one is not envious or covetous in doing so. 

The very concept of 'fair share' is itself covetous and envious. It is to claim for oneself what one wants, not what one justly "deserves", but what one wants, and that alone. That people cannot even see that it is concerned with one's own fleshly desires is itself evidence of such covetousness and self-justification of such fleshliness. This manifests in the double-mindedness of only acknowledging that claiming an unfair of excessive share is covetousness and greed, but that claiming a fair share is not. The concept itself is covetous and envious as it thinks that one "deserves" something. That itself is to be covetous. 

If you still think that the concept of 'fair share' is a legitimate doctrine, let me ask you, what do you deserve? You deserve to burn in Hell because you have sinned in the eyes of God (Romans 3:23). You do not even deserve a single breath or to even exist at all, let alone all the totally undeserved things you enjoy in life, including the simplest things, such as sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. To call such things privileges is a severe understatement. They are totally undeserved. 


Oh, how proud is humankind in thinking it deserves what it wants. That is why it gets preoccupied and lives for all earthly vanities such as human rights, equality, 'economic justice', 'social justice', 'gay rights', 'women's rights', civil liberties,  property rights and all other vain rubbish that are filthy rags. Such are manifestations of covetousness, envy and pride, wanting what others have, and wanting what you do not even deserve in the first place at all.

Seeking one's "fair share" is covetousness itself. That is precisely what the world does. The issue is not whether one does indeed have a fair share to something, in it is a justified claim,  in the earthly sense. The issue is the manner of spirit in which one claims something. Seeking one's "fair share" is a manifestation of covetousness and envy as it thinks that one deserves what one wants. 

Covetousness need not demand an excessive share of what one is entitled to in the earthly sense, whether it be under the law of a country, or be morally fair and equitable. As long as one is seeking one's own, is itself covetousness.