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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wisdom & Treasure Series: Does Anybody Know The 10th Commandment?

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

You know, coveting (to long for; desire; hanker after; crave) has a tight connection with envy. It is so easy to want, to covet, to envy what others have, that we are left feeling discontent and unsatisfied. We compare what we have to what other's have. If we only had just a little more, we could be happy...be content. We are willing to sacrifice many things for things: our time, our children, our homes, etc. Most of our money problems come from coveting.

"For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." 1 Timothy 5:7-8

Start to pay attention to your thought life. If you find yourself saying, "If only I had a bigger yard, then my kids could run around and play..." Try thinking something like this, "I am so thankful that I have a nice small yard that doesn't take my husband long to mow and care for - that really gives him a break and more time to spend with our family."

"Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:2

You get the idea! Please know that I am not saying there is anything wrong with having things - I think you all know that. The problem is when we can't afford them and we lust after them and eventually put ourselves in a bad position (debt, strife between a marriage, etc.) in order to have them.

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Proverbs 14:30

Is there something that you have been coveting? Has there been strife in your marriage over money? Have you put a career before your children in order to have more things? Go to the Lord and ask Him where your heart is, ask Him to help you, and trust in His sovereign hand.


Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

Inspiring post...it is so true that it is easy to covet what we don't have. Especially here in blogland when there is so much to see all the time! It is good to keep perspective and focus on our blessings.

Thanks for the great start to my morning!


MamaHenClucks said...

This has been a lesson hard learned for us. My hubby grew up in an affluent family, whose mom grew up in abject poverty. For her, the big house on the country club meant she was no longer poor. Her kids wore name brands, no expense was spared. When we bought our first tiny home, she constantly commented on how tiny it was. She was embarassed that we were living within our means. Hubby has had a very hard time (although he manages our finances very well) with not always feeling like he needs to make more money or have a bigger house. It's never enough, though. Our new home is twice the size of the old with a basement that is finished like a small apartment. Still, we are often told that it isn't big enough. Mama in laws insecurity from her childhood manifests itself often in my husband, who wants to make his mom proud of his accomplishments. Thanks for the great scriptures today and the insight!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

It is hard not to want something new or different, especially looking around blogland or at shelter magazines! But, like you said, I think focusing on things to be thankful to God for instead brings things into perspective! We truly do have so many blessings in life!

Thanks for the great post!

The Delaney's said...

Excellant message.

HeathahLee said...

Our pastor taught a little about this very thing last night! Hmm, the Lord must want me to hear it! I don't think I covet, but I do get discontented with the way things are. I'm not satisfied with my house, even though it's PLENTY big enough for my family. I just see what needs to be done to improve it, and I start wishing I could just start over with a newer, better house. Thank you for the gentle reminder to thank Him for what He has blessed us with!

Anthony and Lisa said...

My husband and I recently had a conversation where, for the first time, we both feel really content in our lives. What's ironic is that this conversation came shortly after all of our debt, except our mortgage, was paid off. The Lord is so good, and in the midst of everything in the world, this feeling is amazing!

Simply Vintagegirl said...

That was very good, thank you for posting about this very important subject. Even a child's covetousness can hurt a family and/or change the atmosphere of the home. I must remember to always be content, because the Lord will provide what I need. I must always lean on Him.

I've started a new meme you might like. :) It goes on every Thursday until Jan. 1st, and is called A Homemade Christmas.

God bless you!
Miss Emily Rose

Kat said...

This is kinda off the subject, but related a bit...I think. Anyway, I recently read something by John McArthur that said jealousy (which is closely related to coveting, would you say?) is not only wanting what someone else has, but also that you don't want them to have it. I'd never thought of that 2nd part of the not wanting them to have it. I'd always thought of just the wanting what they have. So there you go. That's all a freebie ;)

Sarah Mae said...

Kat, I always heard that envy was wanting what you don't have, and jealousy was being afraid losing what you do have.

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

I covet everyone with a cool, big, digital camera that doesn't have a delay and has the ability to capture two children actually looking in the same direction at the right moment. (whew!) I SO covet a good camera! But I will wait. And save. And am hoping they come out with a bunch of new features between now and the time I can afford one. :)

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Excellent post! Coveting is a problem that comes up often. I really do try to be very thankful for everything that we have - I know many with less.

beth said...

This is a lesson I seem to need to be reminded of over and over again. Thank you!

Mrs. Trixi said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

Traci said...

I have friends who covet very specifically right now. For some it's a bigger house (which from time to time is my weakness also), for some it's a husband, and for others it's the status of motherhood. It seems like I hear on an almost daily basis "Why won't God give us a baby?" or "Why haven't I found a husband yet?"

..I think it's important to remember that it's God's desire to be what contents us. He wants to fulfill us, first and foremost. I've found that some blessings aren't given until we can be content with Him and what he has provided.

Great post!