“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.”
The 10th Commandment (Exodus 20:17)

You might be thinking, “Whew!  My neighbor doesn’t have an ox!  I’m off the hook!”

But, have you ever desired someone else’s . . .

  • Car
  • Home
  • Possessions
  • Spouse
  • Life

If you answered “Yes” to any of these, as a fellow member, let me be the first to welcome you to The Coveting Club! Believe me, this is one club we should want to quit.

Coveting can be defined as “An ungodly discontented desire for something or someone that’s not supposed to be ours.”

Does coveting impact our lives?  What do you think about these two scenarios?

  • Have either you or someone you know been affected by someone coveting someone else’s spouse which led to adultery? 
  • Have either you or someone you know been affected by someone coveting someone else’s possessions which led to overspending, struggles with debt, or worries about money?

I think many, if not all of us can answer “Yes” to one or both of those questions. Coveting can lead to things that destroy our lives and the lives of those we love.

How does coveting create so much destruction? Have you ever heard the phrase, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?”

Coveting leads to comparing, and comparing leads to complaining. He/she has a better car, job, house, clothing, or spouse than I do.  Basically, my neighbor’s grass is greener than mine. We start complaining about what God has given us. When we complain about what God has entrusted to us, we tend not to care for it or the relationship as we should. Instead of watering our grass, we ignore it because we are comparing and complaining – and it becomes worse. Then the gap between what we covet – our neighbor’s car, home, possessions, life, or spouse and our current situation gets wider, and we get more and more discontent and covet more. It’s a vicious cycle. And when we try to remedy the situation, we tend to do it destructively, through things such as having an affair or overspending.

There is a solution . . . but before you read on, take a few minutes and view a 2 minute video to illustrate our dissatisfaction with what God has given us. Click to view the Skitguys.com video “More Coke”.

The cure for coveting is Contentment.

Contentment is not wanting what we want, but wanting what God wants for us. When God doesn’t give us something, it’s not to punish us, but to protect us. It may not be the right time for what you want, or it may not be good for you. Have you ever coveted something or someone, and in hindsight had you gotten involved, it would have wrecked your life? God has our best interests in mind and we’re wise to be content with that.

And what creates contentment? Gratefulness.

Think about it . . . Content people are grateful people.

Try to think of someone who is content, but not grateful. Try to think of someone who is grateful, but not content. It’s hard to come up with someone isn’t it?

If we are grateful for our mode of transportation, our job, our education, and our spouse, it creates contentment. When we aren’t grateful, we become self-centered, selfish, and prideful.  And then we covet.

So quit the coveting club. Be grateful for who and what God has given you. Gratefulness leads to contentment, and contentment is the cure for coveting.