Thanksgiving: Contentment over Covetousness

We come to a time of year where we emphasize “thanksgiving,” but we still may be inappreciative for what we already have.  As consumers, we can become inappreciative and ungrateful to God.  We become covetous instead of thankful, and we lose our contentment.

Man is covetous (ungrateful) by nature.  Jesus said, 20“…What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, … coveting, ….” (Mark 7:20–22).  Paul also says that a “debased mind is filled with … covetousness…” (Romans 1:28–29).  The dictionary defines it as “excessive or wrongly desirous of wealth or possessions; greedy.” It is lust.

When we cannot be content with where we are in life and what we have as compared to others (in a state of covetousness), then we will be ungrateful.  We will stop thanking people for their efforts, time, and generosity.  We become dissatisfied or discontent with people and God (including his grace) – the opposite of peace or gladness with God.  .  .
One dictionary defines contentment as “the state of being happy and satisfied.”  Today it is rare that we find anyone who is truly content with his or her condition in life.  Jesus told us to be content when he said, “25 … do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25,).  Paul agreed with Jesus and wrote, “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6). He had learned the secret to contentment in every circumstance of life (Phil 4:11-2). While that secret eludes most people, it need not elude any true believer.

We can fight the sin of covetousness by pursuing contentment.  “How?”  By constantly giving thanks in all things.  Paul had learned to give thanks in every circumstance and he exhorted all believers to do the same. (1 Thess. 5:18; Eph. 5:18).
Secondly, by resting in God’s ultimate will for our lives.  We should not be surprised or ungrateful when we experience trials because we know that God sees perfectly the end result (See Rom. 8:28, 1 Pet. 4:12-13).

Finally, rely on God’s power and presence. The apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”; and Jesus said He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).

Be thankful this season by being content with what God has given you.  If you are, you will experience peace and gladness with God.

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