Summary: Will we ever discover true contentment? we can if we replace an attitude of coveting to an attitude of contentment. Main ideas for this message came from James MacDonald’s Book, Lord Change my Attitude.
Introduction: 3 men were walking on a beach one afternoon when they came across an old lamp. The first man picked it up and began to rub it and out popped a genie. The genie said I am here to give each of you one wish each.
The first man did not hesitate he said I want a million dollars – POOF, instantly a million dollars appeared before him.
The second man said I want a mansion her on the beach – POOF, a beautiful mansion appeared right before his eyes and the genie handed him the keys.
This got the third guy really thinking about his wish, finally he stated Make me irrespirable to women – POOF the genie turned the man into a large box of chocolate!
What are you wishing for? Suppose you had three wishes; what are the items you would wish for that give you happiness & make your life more enjoyable?
We live in a culture today that tells us there is always something more, something better, something we have to have. Whether it is the latest Ipod or Big Screen TV, advertisers are paid big bucks to tell us we need something more.
The idea of wanting more is found throughout our society. Pastor Tommy Jackson called coveting the Destination Disease. Destination Disease is a disease that says, “I can’t be happy right now. My current situation does not allow me to be happy”.
Destination Disease says, I will only be happy when…
I get a new job, I get a new boss
I get a new car, I get rid of my old car
I get a new husband, I get rid of my old husband
I make 10k more per year, I move out on my own
I get married, I get divorced
I move to a different city, I get a better church
I get to go on vacation, I win the lottery, I pay off all my bills
My business takes off, My business slows down
I lose weight, I gain weight
I finally finish school
My wife quits bugging me, My husband starts paying attention to me
My mom quits griping, My dad quits yelling
In short, Destination Disease says, “I cannot be happy right now, something has to change or be different in order for me to be happy”.
And Destination Disease leads us to covet – to want more and more.
What does it mean to covet something? After all is it wrong to simply want nice things? The psalmist said God will give us the desires of our heart. When do the desires of our heart cross the line and become the craving of coveting?
I believe coveting can be defined in four ways…
Coveting is; wanting the wrong things.
Wanting control of something so I can be the center of attention, wanting wealth for myself or wanting power without reason – in other words wanting the wrong things
Coveting is; wanting the right things but for the wrong reason
In the area of leadership, Paul states if a man desires to be a leader that is a good thing, if he desires to serve His Lord and church with wisdom and a proper attitude – that is good, but if he desires to serve as a leader just so he can have the inside information or so he can call the shots that is the wrong thing.
Coveting is also; wanting the right things at the wrong time.
A young couple comes into my office for premarital counseling, they love god and one another, they are committed to one another and plan to get married in 3 months – but they want to move in together now – they want the right things commitment to God and to one another but the timing is wrong, they need to wait until they are married to live together.
Finally coveting is wanting the right things but the wrong amount
Take money for example, money is not a wrong thing it is part of life – money causes us a problem when we love money to the point that we become obsessed with getting more and more money to the exclusion of building relationships with God and others.
Covetousness is wanting the wrong things or wanting the right things fro the wrong reason, or at the wrong time or the wrong amount.
Coveting has a strong hold on people today, some people are in financial bondage because coveting while others are in serious denial about coveting, yet god’s word teaches us there is away to escape the trap of coveting and live a life of contentment.
Coveting things is not simply a 21st century problem. People have struggled with covet things for centuries. No where is that more obvious than the children of Israel and their desert experience.