More and more, our way of life, especially in the Western world, seems to be
centred on and around things. To possess a good house, furniture, cars,
clothes and a growing array of consumer items is what life is all about, or so
The ever-active world of advertising keeps these alluring goods in front of
us. There they are: glittering silverware, plush floor coverings, thrilling
sound systems and endless electronic gadgetry. Then, further luxuries like a
pool table, a caravan or cabin cruiser are for some like tempting bait
dangling before their eyes.
The thinking of many families today seems to be dominated by a hunger to
acquire certain goods, which has almost become an obsession. Working,
striving, saving in order to fulfil desire, but never, it seems, actually
feeling satisfied. The heart longs for even more.
The word ‘covet’ is not used much these days. It means to be
greedy in our desires, especially for what we see in other people’s
possession. So we then look jealously at neighbours and friends and sit
drooling over the array of prizes won by people on TV quiz shows.
The Bible calls coveting a sin. The Ten Commandments were given to help people
live worthwhile lives. One of these commandments says, ‘You shall not
There is nothing wrong with working toward the possession of material things
provided we keep a balance with other factors in our lives. We should not
allow desire to possess us. So often people hurt others by their greed; some
enslave themselves in order to gain only a passing fad, putting things before
their loved ones. Sadly, many crimes are committed in the pursuit of the
possession of things.
Probably ten people out of ten would say that the principle thing they want in
life is contentment. Yet the truth is, contentment is not found in things or
possessions, no matter how good or great they may seem to be.
Paul, writing to his friend Timothy, said: “Godliness with contentment
is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and we will take nothing
out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with
that....For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.”
Further on in his letter he addresses some more wise words to Timothy:
“Command those who are rich not to be arrogant, nor to put their hope in
wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God”
(1 Timothy 6:6, 17).
Something that lasts
It is true that the best things in life are free. Take, for example, the gift
of God which is eternal life. Then think of forgiveness through the Lord
Jesus, His peace in your heart and mind, His love that never changes.
Money cannot buy these, yet they outlast everything else.