Have you ever thought WHY the grass seems to be greener on the other side of the fence? Or why your neighbor’s flowers bloom brighter? As I get older, I realize that is is because they put more work into it and spent more money to get it to look that way…more than I wanted to work or spend my time doing. To admire and appreciate all the work that goes into a project of success is different, much different, than wanting what someone else has, so much so, that we would lie or steal to get it. We can do this, according to Jesus, in our minds, which is as bad as taking what is not ours physically. DO NOT COVET. That’s one definition.

“Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns.” Exodus 20, NLT

Does this apply to us today? We do not have servants or donkeys! The whole advertising business relies on our minds willing to want what we do not have and will do anything to get it. The ads force us to think that we “deserve” it, must have it to live life, and “have it our way”. Yikes! Have you really stopped to listen to commercials and hear what the words are saying to you? What would Jesus say about commercials today? They appeal to every part of our human nature that we are trying put under control, “not conforming to this world, but renewing our minds” by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. (See Romans 12)

Jesus teaches from the mountain, the right way to think and behave that pleases Him and is helpful to us to live the “abundant life” He talks about. “You have heard it said….but I say…” Jesus tells us over and over, throughout His sermon, that the world will lie to us, but He is Truth and tells only the Truth. The “better life”, according to Jesus is not to want but to give. AND give in secret so you aren’t tempted to “blow your own horn”. (See Matthew 5 and 6). He tell us to LOVE our enemies. Do good to those who hurt you. Go the extra mile and give him the shirt off your back if necessary. This is all the OPPOSITE of coveting or badly wanting what others have and/or the life they lead. (Even in the Christian world of leadership!)

You can spend a lifetime wanting and working long hours to get or take it and end up with nothing you can present at Jesus feet when this journey is over. Name one thing that you “want” now that will be of any use in your next home. There is no earthly thing that travels with us to Heaven, is there. Mmm, I am convicted. How about you? Yes, we are thankful…but is it for things or people and time spent with them? 

As we approach the season of Christmas, we must keep these thoughts in mind, for giving to our children can even overpower our human nature to want to give more to them from the sin of coveting what others give to their children. Or grandchildren. When maybe what they will remember most is the TIME you spent, not on what you bought for them.

Whew, “do not covet” is much deeper than we thought when we began, but I understand why God wrapped up his commandments with this one. Be careful what we want…that is what God is telling us through His Story today. Oh, be very careful.

Dear Heavenly Father, The world bombards us with opposite thinking and behaving. YOU, TRUTH are indeed counter to this culture. Help us to stay focused on You, wanting what YOU want for us. The best.
In Jesus Name, AmenImage

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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