I occasionally browse Apple's AppStore to see what types of useful new apps are available. The style of this particular app icon caught my eye but I was a bit unprepared for what all it entailed:
- Gilt iPad app
Here is the description for this app:
"Shop for today's most coveted fashion and luxury brands at up to 60% off retail."
While I am not opposed to fashion in and of itself, the use of the term "coveted" was a bit abrasive and caused me to re-examine this topic.
covetous (kùv´î-tes) adjective 1. Excessively and culpably desirous of the possessions of another. See synonyms at jealous. 2. Marked by extreme desire to acquire or possess: covetous of learning.
Scripture has a few words on this subject:
"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor." (Exodus 20:17)
But as for you, only keep yourselves from the things under the ban, so that you do not covet them and take some of the things under the ban, and make the camp of Israel accursed and bring trouble on it. (Joshua 6:18)
The things "under the ban" in this passage are idols and their associated paraphernalia.
I have heard (and used!) some of the common arguments on the issue of covetousness...
"It says do not covet your neighbor's belongings. My neighbor doesn't have any of these things."
"It says do not covet your neighbor's belongings. My neighbor can keep theirs... I want to get my own!"
"I can covet that because it doesn't belong to anybody yet."
If we covet something that exists in the world (especially manufactured goods), it belongs to somebody: initially it is the company that made it. If we covet that item how much power over our thoughts and actions are we giving that object?
We should not covet anything in this world.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
In Paul's mind, covetousness is lumped together with fornication, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, thievery, and drunkenness.
What about this Gilt company?
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
Let's not get sidetracked by the material goods of this world and instead consider the words of the Master:
"Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)