Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV) Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
What’s that you say… you don’t need a newer, nicer car? You don’t need a bigger house? You don’t have to have THIS SEASON’S newest fashions? If you judge by our culture, apparently you do, and not only that, you DESERVE all those things. That’s the relentless drumbeat of materialism and the marketing message served up millions of times a day by every electronic screen.
What is covetousness? It’s wanting what you don’t have because you are not content with what God has currently provided; or because someone else has more than you; or because you think you deserve more than you have.
Coveting is not “success” or “achievement” or even just simply having more “stuff”. Nothing wrong with any of those. It’s the constant dissatisfaction with what you have, jealous of the blessings of others, believing you aren’t getting what is “fair” or what you “deserve” (what we really deserve is a lesson for another time). It’s the inability to be truly joyful when viewing the success/blessings/recognition/rewards of others and deep inside believing YOU should have those things too (or instead of them).
Be content with what you have. Why? Well first of all because God commands it. Second, when you are discontent with what you currently have, it robs you of the joy of anything you gain subsequently. Third, discontent is the “dangling carrot” disease of materialism… never satisfied, always one step away from being cured.
Being discontent has NOTHING to do with what you do or don’t have. It is a spiritual mindset. The content person can never be robbed of their contentment, and the discontent can never be content no matter what they have.
Think It Over: The writer of Hebrews (Paul) gives us the secret to contentment: Jesus will never leave our side. Who cares WHAT we have. Contentment comes from WHO we have… regardless of our bank account, material wealth or temporal security. That’s why the poorest of our world can be happy with the simplest things of life… and the richest of our world can be miserable in the midst of opulence.