“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17
This is the last of the Ten Commandments, #10.
What is covet? The dictionary describes covet as the yearning or desire to possess something. How many of us have fallen short with that? It is easy to see the nice things that other people have, and want them. We are not to do that, because God is our provider, and we need to be thankful for the things we do have. He gives so generously. Even when we are poor, we are rich with the Lord. Coveting is the lack of contentment with our own things.
I think of the Israelites, who grumbled during their forty years of wandering in the desert. God gave them a cloud by day, and light by night so they could travel. He gave them food from heaven, manna and quail. He opened up rocks with springs of water to give his people water to drink and bathe in. Yet the people grumbled that they didn’t have the things they had in Egypt.
If we could just displace the desire for things we don’t have, with thankfulness for the things we do have, we would be such a happy people. It is something I need to work on. My covetness that is wrong, and that gets me stressed out, is the desire to have a clean home and manicured beautiful yard. That probably isn’t going to happen. I need to be content that we have wood for the heat in our home, that my husband works hard, and that my son enjoys so many things to do with building, welding, and mechanics. The dogs have been good companions, and we have a roof over our heads. A busy home can be a messy home, and at times, that is okay.
Lord, help me not to grumble and complain about the things I don’t have. Help me to be content with what I do have. Turn my desires into the good things that come from you. Help me to do the best I can, and leave the rest to you. Help my actions, words, and desires to be pleasing to You.