Can you believe it? Covetousness is idolatry! I’m serious. Read Colossians 3:5:
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (ESV)
Did you catch that? “. . . covetousness, which is idolatry.”
Covetous: feeling or showing a very strong desire for something that you do not have and especially for something that belongs to someone else; marked by inordinate desire for wealth or possessions or for another’s possessions; having a craving for possession
“I want one of those.”
“I’ve gotta have that!”
How can this be idolatry?
“Thou shalt not covet” is one of the ten commandments (Exodus 20:17). Jesus says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” We are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Jesus says, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
John said, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:15-17
Covetousness. Greed. The GOD’S WORD Translation calls it greed and then clearly shows how it is idolatry. Check this out:
Therefore, put to death whatever is worldly in you: your sexual sin, perversion, passion, lust, and greed (which is the same thing as worshiping wealth). Colossians 3:5 GW
“Greed, which is the same thing as worshiping wealth.”
How about that?
I like how the New Living Translation says it:
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Colossians 3:5 NLT
I guess there have been plenty of “earthly things lurking within me,” because I have been coveting, wanting things that I don’t have, wanting more than I need. Forgive me, Lord, for idolatry. I’ve been looking at worldly things rather than keeping my eyes on heavenly things.
Proverbs 27:20 says, “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.” Ouch.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:8
And God is so good, that he gives us way more than we need anyway:
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20