There it was, that familiar cry in the night, the fruit of three older brothers and their incessant teasing. Any mention of the red coat at Winkle family gatherings always invokes memories of childhood shenanigans that originated with some mischievous boys. Here’s the back story. Our adopted daughter was welcomed into a home already populated by three brothers, ages six, eight, and nine–brothers who loved her deeply, defended her fiercely, but on those rare (?) occasions, enjoyed a good tease. I had an old, maxi-length red coat that hung in the closet of her bedroom. As their little sister grew in age, she developed quite an imagination due to her love of books. One of the boys thought it humorous to weave a scary story around that stupid red coat, resulting in MANY nights of reassuring a young girl that: A.-the scary red coat been removed from her room, and B.-there was NO way that it was coming back to get her. The Red Coat Trauma would disturb many a quiet evening, not only for me, but also for those same playful boys who initiated the problem in the first place. And since their bedroom shared a wall with her bedroom, they certainly reaped what they sowed, aka, noisy payback!
There is, however, one coat that should strike fear into all of us. The apostle Paul refers to this coat as the “cloak of covetousness.” The opponents of the gospel had attacked Paul’s ministry, his message of salvation by grace, and his motives, claiming that the primary concern of this man of God was to profit financially from his new converts. Paul vehemently denied the charge, claiming that his message was not intended to please men, “but God, which trieth the hearts.” This humble preacher did not use the “flattering words,” as many of the itinerant preachers of his day employed, and certainly did not don a “cloak of covetousness.” God was witness that when Paul spoke, he spoke honest words, convicting messages, with one goal on his heart-the glory of God through the salvation of souls.
Covetousness is a subtle sin, a sin of self-interest and self-seeking, desiring something to such an extent that contentment in God is forfeited. We are reminded in strong terms to “Mortify (subdue it, put it to death)…covetousness, which is idolatry.” Covetousness results in a heart divided, as we seek satisfaction from a source other than the true God. When the seed of covetousness bears its ugly thorns, those thorns grow up, and as a result, it will “choke the word” of God in our lives.
Check the closet and examine your heart daily to ensure that your life is free from this subtle, destructive sin. When discontentment rears its ugly head, remind yourself to “be content with such things as ye have,” and that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” Fear that ugly coat of covetousness, don’t allow it a foothold in your life.
Hebrew 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have:
Lord, help me to learn the way of contentment. Search my heart and keep me aware when that dreadful sin creeps into my life.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1411-63d9cbdd38764' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1411&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1411-63d9cbdd38764' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1411-63d9cbdd38764' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>