5 Ways to Avoid a Covetous Heart this Christmas
The Christmas rush is on and shopping is in full throttle complete with retail marketing tempting our covetous heart. How do you as a mom; decorate, shop, bake, and prepare for Christmas this year without wanting stuff you don’t need?
I love shopping for gifts at Christmas. If it snows, I definitely want to risk the bad roads because it puts me in such a wonderfully romantic Christmas mood for shopping.
Thing is, that when I am out shopping, I see things that I (think) I need. I live an hour from stores and thankfully that has kept me from much shopping throughout the year. So, it is easy to buy stuff here and there as I shop for Christmas gifts.
The Parable of the Greedy Farmer
Covetousness isn’t a problem unique to our generation.
Even the farmer that Jesus spoke of in Luke 12:13-21 was greedy and accumulated so much that he had to tear down the old barns and build bigger ones!
We still do this.
We just fill our attic, basement, garage, storage shed, and if those don’t hold all our stuff, we rent a storage unit!
“Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Luke 12:15
How can you avoid a covetous heart this Christmas and not hoard like the farmer in the parable?
When we die, all the possessions we have cannot go with us. It is a useless accumulation of stuff and not what life is about.
How can we combat covetousness as we prepare for Christmas this year?
1. Your Riches are in Christ
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9
Our riches are in Christ Jesus because while we were yet sinners, God gave Him to us. Our true riches are in heaven and not in anything we buy on this earth. It’s not that we should not buy anything besides gifts for others, but that we should keep this in mind as we shop.
It is too easy to forget that nothing in this world compares to the riches we have in Jesus. We deserve nothing outside of death and hell and yet instead, we have so much to look forward to in Heaven.
2. Confess and Repent of Your Covetous Heart
In a world that is consumed with the need to constantly shop and especially at Christmas, it is hard to avoid a covetous heart.
We forget that covetousness is sin!
We need to confess that insatiable desire to be satisfied with stuff and instead seek to be satisfied with Christ.
I know this applies to my heart and probably yours too!
Stop right now as you are reading this and confess and repent of your covetous heart. Your heart is where it all starts and from there it becomes difficult to control when we are bombarded by all the beautiful things in the stores.
Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:5
3. Gratitude is Key
As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 2 Peter 1:3
You DO know that marketing strategies deliberately breed discontent with what we have? Their mission is to get us to buy what we don’t need.
Avoiding a covetous heart is having a heart of gratitude.
Here are some mindsets you can culture while you are out shopping this Christmas:
- BE thankful for Christ and His saving grace (do you need grace?)
- BE thankful for everyTHING God has given you.
- HE is our great Provider . . . So every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17).
- BE thankful for your house, car, clothing, furniture, decor, and food as it ALL comes from God.
- GIVE thanks!!
4. Thin Out Your Stuff
Boxing Day comes the day after Christmas and was observed when I was growing up in the British Crowned Colony of Hong Kong (now China). It is the custom to ‘box’ up clothing and belongings to give to the poor.
Not a bad idea but why wait until December 26th?
Once you come to realize how rich you are in Christ, you will understand more fully how you can do with less.
When you thin out the stuff you no longer need, you can bless others who are in greater need.
It will be such a blessing if this Christmas you find out the needs of others and fill them.
5. Gift of Generosity
“Few things kill the coveting heart more quickly than depriving it of stuff. Few things reflect the heart of God more than giving generously.” (Worldliness (Redesign): Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World) Dave Harvey
As women, there are all kinds of ways to be generous. The key is to first focus on giving to others more than getting something for yourself.
Are you short on money?
- For years I made homemade gifts for our kids.
- I made homemade gifts for friends. Search Pinterest for ideas.
- Bake cookies for gifts.
- Give an act of service.
If you’d like to read more about what Paul teaches the Corinthians about giving, you will find it in 2 Corinthians 8-9.
Many of you are already giving to others generously and cheerfully and will find this encouraging. I pray that the Lord continues to bless you richly so that you may continue to bless others.
As the days before Christmas diminish, keep your eyes on Christ and all that He has done for you rather than the stuff that you can accumulate.
Jesus Christ is your all-in-all and nothing will satisfy even though the world tells you it will!
Ask God to give you a heart after His own heart and give sacrificially. Then you will be freed from the bondage of what this world offers.
What thoughts do you have or can you add of ways you can avoid a covetous heart this Christmas?