To be covetous, as used here, is to want what someone else has.
What follows is summary highlights from a book entitled, Lord, Change My Attitude, Before It's Too Late (James MacDonald. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2008). The Pastor was so impressed with the material that he wanted to share it with us.
Introduction: Negative murmuring attitudes will keep you in the wilderness (negative place), but positive attitudes of praise will get you to the Promised Land (positive place). People tend not to do the hard work of changing, until they are convinced that what they are doing is not working. Attitudes are patterns of thinking formed over a long period of time. Replace bad with good (see I Cor. 10:1-3, 7-10), now. Forty days of negative thinking led to forty years in the wilderness (see Num. 14:34).
Replace a Covetous Attitude....
Read Numbers 11 as background. Covetousness is wanting wrong things, or wanting right things for the wrong reasons, or at the wrong time, or in the wrong amount. "More of anything other than God will never fill that longing for fulfillment He has placed within you and me." Covetousness becomes sin when we yield – Galatians 5:17 talks about moving from attitude sin to action sin.
When we dwell on desire, sin is just a matter of time. Covetousness inflates the desire and ignores the danger. Covetousness can lead to selective and skewed memories - slaves probably did not have melons. At the root of covetousness is a rejection of God's sufficiency. Our problem is not that we do not want God. It is that we want God and ... perfect spouse, impressive career, etc.
Numbers 11:16-20 shows us a gift from God you do not want. Psalms 106:15 shows that having stuff with leanness in our souls leaves us dissatisfied. In fact, we may grow to hate what we thought we had to have (see Num. 11:18-20). There were terrible consequences for covetousness in Numbers 11:31-35. Notice in vs. 32 that enough is never enough. Covetousness destroys the ability to discern sufficiency. The rich and the poor can be guilty of covetousness.
Discussion Questions regarding Covetousness (use extra paper as needed):
1. What definition is given for “attitude,” in the introduction?
2. What definition is given for “covetousness,” in the complaining paragraphs?
3. Galatians 5:17 talks about moving from ______________ sin to _____________ sin.
4. At the ________ of covetousness is a ____________ of God's ______________. Explain.
5. What else would you like to share about an attitude of covetousness?
Conclusion: So many people want “Promised Land blessings,” but have “Wilderness attitudes.” Let’s work on our attitudes.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.