Covetousness is when you want more than what you have. A bigger car, a bigger house, a bigger whatever. As Peter Gabriel sang:
“The place where I come from is a small town/They think so small/They use small words/But not me/I’m smarter than that I worked it out/I’ve been stretching my mouth/To let those big words come right out/I’ve had enough, I’m getting out/To the city, the big big city/I’ll be a big noise with all the big boys/There’s so much stuff I will own/And I will pray to a big god/As I kneel in the big church/My parties all have big names/And I greet them with the widest smile/Tell them how my life is one big adventure/And always they’re amazed/When I show them ‘round my house, to my bed/I had it made like a mountain range/With a snow-white pillow for my big fat head/And my heaven will be a big heaven/And I will walk through the front door.” (Peter Gabriel, “Big Time”)
We are called to be content. This is a challenge for 21st Century Christians. We have everything at our fingertips. In our hands, we hold a computer that connects us to anything at any time. But God’s word calls for us to be content. The word carries the image of building a wall. We are to wall off discontentment. If we are not careful, covetousness will push a person to try and fill their empty inner life with material things. It is a trap that is hard to get out of but we must battle it with the help of the Holy Spirit. Because it will never satisfy you. Even when you get things it will never be enough. The goal: be happy with what you have.
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)