The Power of Coveting

Deuteronomy 5:21 – And you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

The next time you are in a store gazing upon all of the products displayed for sale, consider for a moment how recent this phenomenon is. One of the first American department stores to put all of the products out on the floor was Woolworth’s. Before that, stores stocked all items for sale behind the counter, and if you wanted something, you would ask a salesperson to get it for you or simply hand them a list of what you wanted to buy.

Once all of the items for sale were able to be touched and selected by the consumer, people started coveting more and therefore buying more. How many of us have done this very thing? We go to the store to buy something and end up buying other things we did not even know existed until we got to the store. We bring them home, pay for extra storage units to stow them away, and later throw them out because we had no need of them after all. Yes, we pay to take the item home, pay to store it, and then pay the sanitation workers to take the item to the dump. That’s the power of coveting.

It seems we have based our economy on getting people to break the tenth and final commandment. Advertising and marketing awaken in you a desire to spend money you don’t have on something you don’t need to impress someone you don’t know. Add to this the spiritual gravity of the world that pulls you toward being jealous and covetous of what others have, and the constant onslaught of social media where it seems everyone is showing off the stuff they have, places they go, and luxuries they enjoy. The stage is set for coveting.

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