It is highly unlikely any medical professional will ever diagnose this deadly disease, but a substantial portion of our population is afflicted. Making matters worse, there are no entries in the medical journals or other scientific publications, though this is one of the most harmful diseases in the world. It is a disease with harmful physical, mental, and especially spiritual effects. I am speaking of wantonness disease.
The Bible describes this condition as “covetousness.” It is such a fundamental problem that it was included in the Ten Commandments God gave to Moses (Ex. 20:17). While there were hundreds of specific laws given in the Old Covenant, the foundational principles of all the rest are contained in the Ten Commandments. For this cause, covetousness must be treated with a sense of urgency. This is easier said than done for two reasons. First, the condition is very subtle in the beginning which makes it hard to detect. Second, once it passes the preliminary stages, like addiction to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco, the drive to obtain more becomes overwhelming.
Some may argue there are no physical effects, but I beg to differ. First, studies have revealed high degrees of anxiety, depression, etc. linked to the constant urge to obtain or achieve more. A quick look at events which have unfolded during several Black Friday sales gives examples of potential physical effects. It seems every year some poor bargain shopper gets injured or even killed as people run over each other to get a cheap tv. There are constant altercations where people fight over the last of a highly coveted item. This is evidence of both the mental and spiritual effects of the disease.
Mentally, endangering people for a bargain is a serious thinking problem. I am not suggesting there is anything wrong with seeking a bargain, even on Black Friday. What I am suggesting is that the desire for stuff must not cloud our judgment. Spiritually, no one who has a proper, biblical perspective could possibly treat another human being in this way. It is because the true Bible believer knows that every person is a human being created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6).
The Bible makes no bones about the fact that the covetous man has no place in the kingdom of heaven (1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-7). This is because at the root of every sin is the desire for more than God has given. It was the desire for God’s wisdom which led Eve to eat the fruit (Gen. 3:6). It was the desire to please Eve which led to Adam’s decision to eat likewise. If we know God has given us all that pertains to life and godliness (2 Pt. 1:3), give thanks to Him always (Eph. 5:20), and are content (1 Tim. 6:6), then temptation is rendered powerless and the disease cured.