Our Craving Hearts

William C. Brownson

READ : 1 Timothy 6:6-10

You shall not covet. (Ex. 20:17)

Did you notice how this commandment is different from the others? The first nine focus on words and deeds—what God calls us to do or not to do. “You shall not covet” goes deeper—not only actions, but attitudes, even desires.

What is forbidden here? Not desire itself; that’s a part of our humanness. Rather, it’s wanting what belongs to another: house, wife, goods. It’s excessive desire, a passion that becomes idolatry. It’s desire that leads to some wrong action—taking what isn’t ours.

Forbidden also is the “green monster” of envy: resenting another’s gifts or reputation, craving it all for ourselves instead.

What’s the positive call of this word from God? First, that we delight in what others have or achieve. John the Baptist is a great model for this. John said of Jesus: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” There’s the exact opposite of envy!

Second, that we strive for contentment. Paul had learned in whatever state he was to be content. Christ was his sufficiency. The writer to the Hebrews urges, “Be content with what you have.” Why? “For he has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’” This is the heart issue for us all: is the Lord’s presence and blessing our supreme desire? If so, nothing else can steal our hearts.


Lord, help us so to know you that our hearts will be caring and content!