And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.–Luke 12:13-15
I read about a pilot who always looked down intently on a certain valley in the Appalachians when the plane passed overhead. One day his co-pilot asked, “What’s so interesting about that spot?” The pilot replied, “See that stream? Well, when I was a kid I used to sit down there on a log and fish. Every time an airplane flew over, I would look up and wish I were flying… Now I look down and wish I were fishing.”
An ancient philosopher said that if all of the troubles in the world were placed in one pile so that everyone could see what burdens others bore, each person, given the choice, would take home the same problems with which he arrived.
It is always tempting to think that others have it better than we do, and that if we just had “a little more” everything would be fine. But contentment cannot be achieved by increasing possessions. Nothing will ever be enough.
Covetousness—a driving desire for more and more and more—is a snare that leads many people away from the truth. In fact Paul wrote that covetousness “is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). When we are not content with what God has given us, we are placing something else on the throne of our heart. While we are too sophisticated to carve idols of wood or stone and bow to them, many in our society worship cars, homes, bank accounts, and clothing. This false worship leads inevitably to disappointment and often to ruin.— Rather than wishing for what you don’t have, give thanks for what you do have, and covetousness will not take root in your heart.-From “Daily in the Word”