The opposite of covetousness is contentment in God. When contentment in God decreases, covetousness for gain increases. That’s why Paul says in Colossians 3:5 that covetousness is idolatry. “Put to death what is earthly in you: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry.” It’s idolatry because the contentment that the heart should be getting from God it starts to get from something else.
So covetousness is desiring something so much that you lose your contentment in God. Or: losing your contentment in God so that you start to seek it elsewhere.
Have you ever considered that the Ten Commandments begin and end with virtually the same commandment? “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3) and “You shall not covet” (Exodus 20:17) are almost equivalent commands. Coveting is desiring anything other than God in a way that betrays a loss of contentment and satisfaction in him. Covetousness is a heart divided between two gods. So Paul calls it idolatry.
Here is another on contentment by Lydia Brownback from my dear friend Megan:
Whatever we long for but lack is an area in which God will reveal himself to be adequate for us. Since that is true, the source of our misery is not that we lack the thing we long for; our misery comes from wanting that thing so much that we are not open to recognizing or receiving any alternative. Contentment comes as we wait on God's timetable and as we trust that what he provides in the midst of our lack is really all we need until he provides something else...obsessin