Exodus 20:17. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house: you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbour’s.
What is the answer to covetousness? How do we live in this world with all its appeal? How do we resist the mass media efforts to make us want more all the time? What do we do with rising emotions that make us jealous and covetous of the prosperity of our neighbour? What is the way forward?
Well, the very first thing to understand is that not all coveting is wrong. The thing that all of us should covet is eternal life. This can only be received from Jesus Christ. It may be that the root of all your inner struggles is the fact that you have not yet fully yielded your life to Christ. If this is so why not turn to Him now?
Secondly, it is not wrong to desire a good and wholesome life for yourself and your family. God intended for us to be happy and has supplied us with what we need so that we can live good and productive lives. (Ephesians 4:28; Philippians 4:11,12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10; 1 Timothy 5:16; 1 Timothy 5:6; 1 Timothy 5:10).
But even within the Christian life not all covering is wrong. In 1 Corinthians 12:31 we read, ‘But earnestly desire the best gifts’, and then Paul goes on to describe what we should covet – the life of love. Love and concern for others reflects the new nature Christ gives us. I suggest that the way out of this particular sin is to covet a personal relationship with God. We must covet a walk of victory in the spiritual life – not a walk of defeat. Covet the strength to trust God in all circumstances so that we can say with the Apostle Paul, ‘I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content’ (Philippians 4:11). A meaningful relationship with God refuses to believe that God has made a mistake in the way He has dealt with our lives. Rather it causes us to trust him and rest, content with our lot in life, knowing that all things are in His hands.
The tenth commandment points us again to the first commandment. When God is our God we trust Him in all the affairs of life. We accept what comes from His Hand and live in such a way that we reflect our relationship with Him, and seek no harm to others.
The question is: Is God your God? Is Christ your Saviour? Have other things assumed such importance in your heart that it has supplanted God Himself?
Why not do some inner investigating? What do you have inside your heart that constantly distracts you from walking with God? Have you dealt with your inner self, with its own secret agenda?
Is the Lord Jesus Christ your Saviour?