causes this prince who is in want of, or lacks, understanding to
crush or burden his people? The second half of the verse gives the
Covetousness means craving wealth,
possessions and/or someone else's possessions. It's interesting
to note that no matter how rich or poor you are, you can always
find something to covet.
What do you covet?
I've been noticing that this is a
good time to address covetousness in our lives. You'd think that
just after Christmas with its wealth of presents and pleasures,
we'd be feeling completely content, happy with our new possessions,
but that's not so. At least, not at my house.
Before Christmas, I asked my son and
daughter, "What do you want for Christmas?"
"I don't care," they'd respond. "Surprise
me." My son mentioned one game for his Gameboy Advance, and that
was about it.
Well, family members rely on me to
tell them what the kids want, so I bought Joel a used Xbox, and
family members were happy to supply him with games. For Holly, I
suggested Webkinz, an idea I got from a friend.
Christmas came, and my son was excited
about his Xbox…until Holly started playing with her Webkinz. Now,
he's counting down to his birthday (in March!), so he can get a
Webkinz. As for Holly, she now realizes her need for Littlest Pet
Shop toys--something she had no interest in until the other girls
in her class got them for Christmas.
I am not immune to the covetousness bug. I was excited about my
new Belgian waffle maker, until I read that it makes crispy waffles.
Then, I was sad because I prefer thick, fluffy waffles. But, when
I used it, the waffles turned out thinner than I'd hoped and very
limp. So, I used the rest of the batter up trying to figure out
what I was doing wrong that was causing the outsides not to be crisp.
And I don't even like crisp waffles!
As you can see, part of our sin nature
is a tendency to want whatever it is we don't have. It's a "grass
is always greener…" complex that causes us to think that if we just
had more stuff, different stuff or better stuff we'd be happier.
Not so, according to God's Word. "But
godliness with contentment is great gain," according to 1 Timothy
6:6. Covetousness causes discontent and unhappiness, not only in
us but in those around us as well.
That's why God advises the unwise
prince to learn contentment before his unhappy people revolt, thus
ending his oppressive reign.
Think about it. Is your covetousness
causing you to be an unhappy princess? Are your parents ready to
revolt because of your continual discontent or demands? Is your
constant complaining hurting your friends' ears?
If so, you need to apply Proverbs
28:16 to your life by learning to hate covetousness. You'll be happier,
and those around you will stop referring to you as a "royal pain!"