Content or Covetous (Hebrews #51)

Text: Hebrews 13:5-6

Covetousness is to have a strong desire for something you don’t have.  It is to lust after something. Romans 7:7 …for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  “I want, I want, I want” is the voice of covetousness.

Now, you can covet good things like Paul says covet earnestly the best gifts of the Spirit.  But generally that’s not the course our desire takes.

The second word to define is conversation.  Conversation is your way of life. It is your manner of life.  Galatians 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it.  Ephesians 2:3 …we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind…  So conversation is a way of life.

Conversation with covetousness

  • You can be occupied with what God has done for you or you can be occupied with what you don’t have and what someone else has.
    • Occupied with things you don’t have
      • Joshua 7:21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
      • Millions of people will sit on their couch, in a/c, running water, transportation, fridge with food, good plumbing, while a digital window tells them 24 hours a day about things they don’t have but need.  Every 3 minutes you’re told about something you don’t have but will make your life better. Then you watch a TV show with people who look better than you, have more money than you, fornicate, murder, cuss, with other people who look better than you and have more money than you.
      • The kids in front of screens all day, this generation will grow up to be the most covetous idolatrous generation this country has seen.
      • Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
      • Then you listen to a sermon an hour or two a week trying to convince people inflamed in covetousness that Jesus Christ is the answer and the Bible is your meat and serving God is where joy is.
    • Inability to make good judgment
      • Exodus 18:21-22 in order to make good judgment you can’t be covetous.
      • If you want stuff, you’ll set aside judgment in order to get more or not lose what you have.
    • Listen to God’s word, but won’t practice any of it
      • Ezekiel 33:30-3
      • People leave saying that was a good sermon about missions.  The preacher says we’re going to be taking up an offering for this missionary, and the same people who said that was a good sermon on missions say they don’t have the money to give.
    • Measure spirituality and blessings by stuff and possessions
      • 1 Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
      • Money is not a spiritual thermometer.  This is a theology of covetousness. It is literally a prosperity gospel.
      • Psalm 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
    • People with regrets are covetous people.
      • Coveting what you don’t have leads to a multitude of bad options.
      • Theft, adultery (you want someone’s wife or husband), crippling debt, bitterness toward God, bitterness toward someone else.
      • 1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
      • Not that they are rich or are poor, but they that WILL BE rich FALL…
      • Spiritually barren people are covetous people.
      • Proverbs 28:16 The prince that wanteth understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.  Short life.  And feel like days run altogether, like you never catch up, never get ahead.
    • Covetous people are discontent people
      • That is the definition of discontentment, covetousness.
      • Covetousness can’t be satisfied by the thing that you’re coveting.
      • Ecclesiastes 5:10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
    • 1 Corinthians 5:10-11 Stay away from professing Christians who are covetous.


  • Whatever you’re lusting after will not last.  Jesus Christ will never leave you or forsake you according to 13:5
  • 1 Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
  • Signs your content
    • You’re grateful.
    • You’re gracious.  Rich in good works
    • You’re in a position to give.  Ready to distribute
    • You’re generous.  Willing to communicate
  • Contentment is learned
    • Contentment is learned in trouble.  Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
    • 1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
    • Beyond food and raiment I need to reign in my spirit and shut my flesh up.
    • We’ve got to learn we can live without things we thought we couldn’t live without.

Confidence in the Lord

  • If I’m led by covetousness, I can’t say the Lord helped me.
  • On the other hand, if I can be content and leave something up to the Lord.  Then when the answer comes I can boldly say that was the Lord!
    • The Lord did this for Israel over and over.  Got them to a point of complete helplessness so there was no question He was helping them.
    • When people are inundated with choices it’s impossible to say the Lord helped me.