Dealing with Covetousness

In my last sermon I dealt with two sins that hinder the pursuit of knowing the strength from joy of the Lord – covetousness and complacency.

Today I will talk about the sin of covetousness. Covetousness is the sin of greed. I am particularly talking about coveting the gifting of others whose God given gifts may cause them to be more visible publicly and be known for what they do more than others.

Our DNA in India is a little different from other people. We are naturally seeking power and public office. We desire to be greeted by others. We have a tendency of preferring a divide that exists between ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’. We like to have government jobs especially because a peon can bring in our tea and coffee. It is this culture that IT industries have changed. Employees go and get their own tea and coffee. That is a revolutionary behavior change.

However, even today there is this sin prevalent in churches and christian organizations in India. Just as our politician split easily over “who is boss?” we have churches and other christian organizations splitting. The desire to rule and have the final word is in our DNA.

We want to be a preacher/evangelist (the guy who has large meetings)/pastor/worship leader/elder/board member more than the one who serves being noticed only by God.

When was the last time you met with someone in church you have not met before and invited them into your home for a meal? When was the last time you found the place a mess and decided you do something about it? When was the last time you took initiative to cook a meal and invited others (a family or a single or a larger set of people) over for a time of fellowship? When was the last time you noticed that someone in church is not significantly included in with the others and go over make friends and get another person also involved with you? When was the last time you invited your unbelieving friends/colleagues over for a meal and build that relationship with the intention of sharing the gospel?

In our membership class, we talked about developing a culture of discipleship. Would you want to be a part of creating that culture? If you do, then you may need to give up seeking a position or a visible role and take on the invisible role of serving. God will honor your work. He will reward your faithfulness. If and when God desires and calls you, then you may end up serving in a more visible role. But remember this truth – God judges those of us in the visible role more strictly. We continuously are challenged by the fact that after urging others to run the race that we ourselves might not be disqualified. It sobers us, it scares us.

If you are challenged by this, I urge you to make a fresh start. If you do not know where to start from, let’s meet up and talk…

I would like to hear from you about what you think about covetousness in the area of spiritual gifting.

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