Command 10 - Exodus 20:17
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
“To be envious of the things that someone else possesses.”
“If the thing that belongs to another could be made your own without any bad consequences, you would take it.”
Envy creates an attitude of superiority toward others. “They don’t deserve” anything that you don’t have.
I come to believe that “Life is unfair, because I don’t have” some posession or position.
This belief makes impossible a friendly connection with the ‘neighbor’ who has things you want.
Coveting creates a feeling and attitude of discontentment.
If Life is unfair and God is in control of life, God must be unfair.
With that idea, your relationship with God is destroyed.
An envious Christian is a bad witness.
An unhappy Christian is a poor witness.
A friendless Christian has little opportunity to witness.
Some people will be placed in positions of influence that offers opportunities to witness that I don’t have.
My job is not to question God’s decisions.
My job is to use what I am and what I have to point others to Jesus.
And be content.
Is it wrong to want nice things that I don’t have?
However, it does mean for me to be happy for the success that my neighbor enjoys.
It also says for me to be content with what, where, and how God has placed me in His kingdom.
So where does working for better stuff come in?
This ‘don’t covet’ prohibition does not mean we are to float through life with no ambition or effort for betterment.
God wants us to be the Best.
We are His creation, we should seek to become all that He intends for us to be, so that others will notice and investigate as to Why we are Best.
That gives us the opportunity to share what God has done for us.
When one has an envious spirit, ‘getting’ will never satisfy. That spirit of coveting will rise up again and again, no matter how much we possess.
But, an envious spirit can be subdued.
As with any bad habit or spirit, it can be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit.
God is able to replace every bad, sinful habit or tendency with Christlike thoughts and behaviors.
It’s not complicated.
But it does require effort and consistency.
Study your thoughts and reactions so that you recognize the intrusion of envy or coveting ideas.
Tag every thought that starts with, “I wish I had...”
… Every thought that says, “I deserve that more than he...”
… Or “He doesn’t deserve...”
… Or “That’s unfair...”
… Or “That position should be mine...”
… Or “I could do a better job...”
Those are likely indicators of coveting.
Offer a prayer of repentance.
“Dear God, Forgive me for my covetious attitude. Take that spirit away and replace it with Your Spirit of love and acceptance.”
Find some Bible texts that praise God for what He has done and is doing in your life.
Copy them onto some small cards that you can (and do) carry with you at all times.
When ever you feel the covet spirit start to rise up, take out the praise cards and read one or more until the only Spirit you hear is God’s.
Find a time and place – an opportunity - to compliment the one whose property you once coveted.
It might be a simple, “God has really blessed you! You must be very thankful to Him.”
These (Step 4) words will one day be your automatic thoughts as you observe the nice things that others have.
And, you will become aware of all the ways that God has blessed you and entrusted you with His bounty.
It is normal to feel some discontentment as we live on this broken planet.
Let that discontentment drive you to the promises that Jesus has given us about the Heaven and New Earth that He will one day introduce us to.
Faithfulness in obedience to His Commandments is one of the conditions for entrance to His Kingdom.
> I am to be happy for the success that my neighbor enjoys.
> I am to be content with what, where, and how God has placed me in His kingdom.
God want to bless us with ‘More.’
As long as the ‘More’ brings glory to Him.