By Alan Bailey
Take a moment to think about that thing you really wish you owned. Ever wished or even prayed that you would win the lottery? Perhaps even daydreamed about what you would spend the money on?
For millions of people, having any sort of possessions is just that: a dream. They exist from day to day with the barest essentials of life or not even that. Thankfully, much is being done in our day to bring relief to those living in poverty. Whether people are rich or poor, however, it is part of human nature to desire and want things.
Desire rules, OK?
The thinking of many people today is often driven by a hunger to acquire certain goods, whether we can admit it to ourselves or not. Sometimes it can become an obsession. Working, striving, saving, in order to fulfil some 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 have greedy desires, especially for what we see in the possession of others. This leads to looking jealously at neighbours and friends and sitting drooling over the prizes won by people on TV quiz shows.
Can you think of a time you have 'coveted' what someone else has?
The Ten Commandments, found in the Bible, were given to help people live worthwhile lives. One of these commandments says: "You shall not covet."
There is nothing wrong with working toward the possession of material things provided we keep a balance with other factors in our lives. So often people hurt others by their greed, valuing things more than their loved ones. And think of the enormous amount of crime that is committed in order to obtain desirable things.
King Solomon, famed for his wisdom, spent time contemplating this topic and concluded in Ecclesiastes chapter 6, verse 9, "Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don't have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless – like chasing the wind."
Don't we all wish to just find contentment in life? Yet, the truth is, that contentment is not found in things no matter what they are. Paul, writing from jail 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... for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil."
Something that lasts
You may have heard the saying "the best things in life are free" and also the saying "nothing comes for free". Can both be true? Yes, but only when we're talking about the free gift of God, which is eternal life.
Jesus Christ paid our debt and brought us forgiveness for sins, like coveting, through His death and resurrection. With His sacrifice, we can receive peace in our heart and mind and a love that never changes. Money cannot buy these and they last forever. Remember, this life is a short introduction to endlessness beyond the grave. Coming to know the Lord Jesus in a personal way is the greatest thing that can happen to a person. Each person is only a personal prayer away.