“You shall not covet your neighbor´s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:17
Q: What is the tenth commandment?
A: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s wife, or anything that is his.
What does this mean?
Because we worship and love God, we shouldn’t desire to have the things that belong to other people, but instead, we should help them protect what is theirs.
“I wish I was like her.” “I wish I could do what he does.” “I wish my house was like theirs.” “I wish my wife was like his wife.”
Do these statements sound like they come from someone who is at peace? They don’t, do they? They sound like they come from someone who is quite unsettled.
That is what coveting does. It makes us anxious and uneasy. It robs us of the peace that God wants for His children because we are constantly looking outward at all the things we want. A restful heart would say with ease, “God, I am so thankful for what You have given me. It is enough for me.”
In today’s culture, many of us are extremely busy due to envy and covetousness. We want something really bad so we work long hours so that we can earn the money to get it. The problem is that once we get it, we find something else to covet, and we continue to work to get that. See how this causes our life to be a never ending cycle of being too busy because we are envious and covetous?
This is not the peaceful and restful state that God loves to see in His children. Envy will make us miserable in the end.
Read 1 Timothy 6:9–10:
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
- What is it that ruins people?
- How is the love of money closely related to covetousness?
- What are some things that you are tempted to covet?
Our Father, we want to peacefully rest in Your provision for us. Banish from our hearts any love of money but rather, help us to be thankful for what we have. We don’t want to work ourselves to death in pursuit of that which does not satisfy. Only You satisfy. Forgive us because of Jesus when we fail. In Jesus’ name, Amen.