His Name was Smeagol

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
Colossians 3:5-6

Yesterday I started watching some of the videos Tony Kummer has kindly put online from this year’s Band of Bloggers. Trevin Wax’s address in particular hit me like a freight train. Give it a view:

Trevin spoke about covetousness and blogging and as he spoke, this point really jumped out to me:

The problem with covetousness in general is that it robs God of His glory because we’re seeking an identity apart from who we are in Christ. It also robs us of our joy in blogging. Instead of being this good gift that God has given us that we can use to serve others, it becomes a way for us to prop up ourselves.

He offered the following diagnostic questions that he uses to as a heart check for himself:

  1. Do my emotions ever fluctuate depending on how many hits my blog is receiving?
  2. Do I enjoy the attention I get, regardless of whether it’s praise or criticism?
  3. Do I get depressed if a post doesn’t get the attention I think it should?

Mulling over these questions, because I’ve noticed that on occassion my answers to these questions are “yes.” Not always, but sometimes.

And that’s a problem because, honestly, there are things that are more important.

The character Gollum is a great illustration of covetousness. Formerly known as Smeagol, he was consumed by his desire for the One Ring.

It enslaved him.

That’s how covetousness works. And perhaps the worst thing that can happen to you is you get what you want.

Regardless, there is a solution, a hope to breaking free from covetousness:

Contentment comes about not by direct pursuit, but by pursuing something else. So when we are pursuing, namely, the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…when you’re blogging in pursuit of that higher goal, then all the specifics of your stats, your twitter followers… they all just pale in comparison to the bigger thing. So the way to keep your blog from simply becoming a means to increasing your stature before other people is to see it as a means of service to other people. The best way to avoid coveting a big blog is to find contentment in a bigger God.

I don’t know what it is that you have as your “thing;” maybe it’s music, art, design… How would you answer these diagnostic questions from Trevin? Does covetousness have a foothold in your life?

And if so, are you willing to put it to death and pursue contentment in a bigger God?

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