Battling Unbelief – Covetousness Daily Devotion

Scripture: I Tim. 6:6-12

Today we focus on battling the unbelief of covetousness.

I think our text in 1 Timothy makes clear what covetousness is and that the battle against it is a battle against unbelief or a fight for faith in the promises of God.

The word “covetousness” isn”t used here but the reality is what this text is all about. When verse 5b says that some are treating godliness as a means of gain, Paul responds in verse 6 that “There is great gain in godliness with contentment.” This gives us the key to the definition of covetousness. Covetousness is desiring something so much that you lose your contentment in God. “There is great gain in godliness with contentment.”

The opposite of covetousness is contentment in God. When contentment in God decreases, covetousness for gain increases. That”s why Paul says in Colossians 3.5" rel="nofollow">Colossians 3:5 that covetousness is idolatry. “Put to death what is earthly in you: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry.” It”s idolatry because the contentment that the heart should be getting from God it starts to get from something else.

So covetousness is desiring something so much that you lose your contentment in God. Or: losing your contentment in God so that you start to seek it elsewhere.

Have you ever considered that the Ten Commandments begin and end with virtually the same commandment? “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20.3" rel="nofollow">Exodus 20:3) and “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20.17" rel="nofollow">Exodus 20:17) are almost equivalent commands. Coveting is desiring anything other than God in a way that betrays a loss of contentment and satisfaction in him. Covetousness is a heart divided between two gods. So Paul calls it idolatry.

John Piper

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