Thursday, 12 October 2017

Competitiveness is the Manifestation of Coveteousness which brings the Wrath of God

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

(Ephesians 5:3-7)

The modern Church rightly condemns sexual immorality, as an abomination to God. Yet, the sin of covetousness receives no where near the same condemnation as sexual immorality of all kinds, be it fornication, adultery, or pornography, with the exception of the sin of homosexuality which many in the modern Church are reluctant to condemn as an abomination.

Covetousness is in the same category of sexual immorality. Like sexual immorality, it is a sin of the flesh which brings the wrath of God:

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience
(Colossians 3:5-6).

Galatians 5:19-21 says:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Sexual sin is a vile sin. However, do not think that it is the only vile sin, such that as long as one does not struggle with such sins, one is so holy and righteous. To do so would be to diminish righteousness to merely abstaining from sexual sin, minimising and belittling the righteousness and holiness of God. Covetousness is also such a sin, as with numerous other non-sexual sins, such as murder, heresy, wrath, hatred and witchcraft.

The modern Church in the west is full of covetousness. How do I know? All the competitiveness among many people in the Church, who love to compete with others over all kinds of things, be it wealth, professional success and the pace of such success, ability to buy a house, whether one is married, the quality of one's marriage, the talents of one's children, the ability to "retire" well, the ability to go on frequent holidays in luxurious places and so on.  Even among pastors, there is much competition over church growth, promotions to a higher position in the ministry and how well-received one's ministry is. 

Such competitiveness is all the manifestation of covetousness. Plain and simple. Such covetousness is carnality, that which shows nothing but spiritual immaturity, if one is even a true convert, or simply, spiritual darkness:

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
(1 Corinthians 3:1-4).

The Bible warns us not to be deceived about the sin of not only sexual immorality, but also others sins in the same category, being sins of the flesh. Covetousness is one of them.

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
 (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

This should absolutely frighten you, if you call yourself a follower of Christ, but is yet full of covetousness and envy.

The desire to compare oneself with others, and feel superior because one has what others do not, and be smug and self-satisfied is itself a manifestation of covetousness. Such a desire itself shows not merely a lack of contentment with all that God has given to oneself, but a hatred of those who do not have what one has. Such a hatred will also lead to a hatred of those who have what one does not have. It is precisely for this reason that such a person, when he or she has what others do not have, feels smug and self-satisfied, and can only but despise others for not having what he has. 

The heart of covetousness is pride. Covetousness expresses itself as that which is smug in having what one has, and thus, despising those who do not have what one has, which one wants, and despising those who have what one wants but do not have. It is full of misery,  seeks to make others misery by what one has, and by jealousy against others who have what one wants but do not have. Such misery loves company, as it cannot be satisfied with one has, and cannot be happy for others.

James 4:1-3 describes covetousness and its manifestations:

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

Such a person asks not as he is not only too proud, but because thrives on his covetousness, so that he may feel good when he has what others do not have but want. He does not even know how to ask to get what he wants from God, as his entire mindset is wrong. He asks for what he wants so that he may consume it on satisfying his own self-centred lusts, which do not and cannot glorify God, but can only glorify himself, and be filled with pride and hatred of God. 

The wars and fightings among people that James 4:1 refers to do not only include overt arguments and quarrels. It includes all kinds of division, and the thriving on divisions between people caused by covetousness and envy.  Such divisions can be subtle, manifesting in all kinds of unspoken, quiet unrighteous judgments against others for having something or not having something, resulting in hatred.

Covetousness has no joy. He who is covetous, joyless is he. It causes nothing but misery to not only the covetous person, but his target who he seeks to destroy. Indeed, "wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy" (Proverbs 27:4)?

The covetous person destroys his neighbour by causing him to stumble in lacking joy, which leads to covetousness in that person himself. 

Covetousness is bitter poison, like poison a person gives to his enemy because he wants but does not have.