“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you . . . covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5
I am familiar with images of idols–be they Hindu, Egyptian, Greek, or Roman.
I am also familiar with less traditional idols. The idols that are talked about in Sunday sermons–sports, celebrities, money, fame–anything that becomes more important than God. A baby, a spouse, a beautiful home, a much-desired job promotion. Or, for me, a library full of books. A place to lose myself for a few minutes; to escape from life.
But though all of those things can be idols, none of those are what Paul is referring to in Colossians 3:5 when he talks about idolatry.
Of course I know coveting is wrong. After all, it is the 10th commandment: “Thou shalt not covet.” But recognizing coveting as idolatry–a substitute for God–makes me view it differently.
It isn’t about greed, or about me becoming dissatisfied or discontent with what God has given me.
It isn’t about me damaging my relationship with someone because I covet what she has.
It is about God.
It is about damaging my relationship with Him–devaluing who He is.
It is me saying, “He isn’t enough.” He, who gave EVERYTHING for me, is not enough.
I have to let that sink in for a while.
He, who gave everything for me, is not enough.
No wonder Paul says I need to put it to death. Covetousness is a relationship killer. If I want a vibrant, joyful relationship with God, I have no choice but to choose to be content with what He’s given me. I have no other alternative than to kill it. And kill it again. And ask God to help me, because I can’t kill it on my own. Because I choose Him and fullness of joy.