Passage: Exodus 20:17
Freed to be God’s people: a study of Exodus
Stop coveting things and learn to be content in Christ
1) The problem with coveting is not desiring, but desiring sinfully.
“Covet” means to desire or crave. Desiring something in itself isn’t wrong. And it is possible to admire what someone else has without sinfully desiring it. What are ways that desiring becomes sinful coveting?
Is covetousness really that bad? Answer in light of Romans 1:28-29 and James 4:1-3.
2) Why is coveting idolatry?
Colossians 3:5 and Ephesians 5:5 equate covetousness with idolatry. Why do you think this is?
How did the first couple cross over from contentedness to covetousness? Genesis 3:1-6. How does the tenth commandment brings us back full circle to the first commandment?
3) How do we overcome coveting?
What does Ephesians 5:3 say about the existence of covetousness among God’s people?
The Buddhist solution to coveting, or craving, goes like this: since life is suffering, and suffering is caused by craving, Nirvana (their version of heaven) is reached and suffering is ended when we stop craving. The way to liberation from craving is by following the Noble Eightfold Path. The Eightfold Path teaches that by restraining oneself, cultivating discipline, and practicing meditation, people attain nirvana and stop their craving, and stop accumulating bad karma, and end their cycle of reincarnation and suffering.
What is wrong with this solution covetousness? Describe the Christian solution from Colossians 3:1-5.
4) How can we be content?
What is contentment? How is contentment different from passive resignation or fatalism?
How can we grow in being content? Philippians 4:11-13. Paul doesn’t explicitly say how he learned to be content in every circumstance. But in saying ”I can do all things through him who strengthens me,” how do you think Paul received strength from Christ to be content in every circumstance? What are the challenges to being content in times of hardship and need? In times of abundance and plenty? Which circumstances may require more grace to be godly?
What can we learn from 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 about being content in hard circumstances? Does being content mean we never lament or declare to God our sorrow or grief to God? 1 Peter 5:6-7, 2 Corinthians 1:8, Hebrews 5:7. Does being content in all circumstances mean you never try to improve or change these circumstances when you can? If not, what should and should not motivate our efforts to change them?
What can we learn about contentment from 1 Timothy 6:6–8 and Hebrews 13:5?