Recently, I was introduced to the Logo Board Game. It’s a simple game based on answering questions about logos, products and packaging of well-known brands.
Turns out… I’m very good at remembering all the brands and jingles that I grew up with in the 80s, having watched many TV commercials. I usually end up winning each game we play.
Whilst that might sound great, it does bring home how strong the lure of advertising can be, enticing us to desire and buy products we may not really need.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines coveting as, “to want to have something very much, especially something that belongs to someone else.”
Desire in and of itself is not sinful. It is what we desire and whether we act upon those desires that can lead to sin.
Exodus 20:17 states:
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
If something belongs to someone else, don’t covet it.
If someone belongs to someone else, don’t covet them.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 reminds us, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
The Bible tells the story of a man named Achan, who struggled with greed. Having conquered the city of Jericho, Joshua commanded his army to put all the silver, gold, and articles of bronze and iron into the Lord’s treasury (Joshua 6:18).
Achan, however, brought trouble on the camp through disobeying this order and was soon found out. He confessed: “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath” (Joshua 7:20-21).
Achan acted on his desire for what did not belong to him—leading to his and his family’s ruin.
The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. But to be right with God and content with what we have brings joy and peace, knowing God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
In Luke 12:15, Jesus warns, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
Coveting can lead to spiritual and financial ruin. It can also lead to the breakdown of marriage and family. It’s just not worth it. For we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it (1 Timothy 6:7).
The antidote for coveting is contentment—something we all need to learn.
Limiting my amount of television and social media, especially advertisements, is one way I have learned contentment. There may be other ways and ideas you can adopt that will help you reduce the desire to want to buy and spend beyond your means.
Godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). And the Lord is our very great reward who supplies all our needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Genesis 15:1, Philippians 4:19).
The question is: Have you accepted his precious gift of salvation?
Yours in His Service,
Founding Member, Compass Australia
Before being called into ministry, Gwenda was a CPA and worked as a management accountant for an engineering company for three years. In 2017, she graduated with a Master of Divinity from Malyon Theological College in Brisbane, Australia, and served as a chaplain at residential aged care community Carinity Clifford House for two years. Gwenda has served on the ministry since 2015 and is a member of the Compass Australia board and associate pastor for Connect Groups and Teaching at North-East Baptist Church in Nundah, Australia. Gwenda and her husband, Prasantha (PJ), who serves as board chairman for Compass Australia, have three children, Taruna, Rasika and Prashan.