Thou shall not covet. 

This simply stated command is an abbreviation of one of the Ten Commandments.  The basic concept is frequently repeated in scripture.  Covetousness is clearly bad, but what is it?

The dictionary says that it is to “desire enviously”.  We see something that someone else has, and we want it.  We are not happy with what we have, we want something else.  We are discontent. 

I think that there is an underlying attitude that is the key to understanding this sin.  The attitude is the belief that something, anything, other than God, is what we desire in order to be happy.  I won’t be happy without… you fill in the blank.  If it is anything other than God, then you are coveting.  God is all that we need to be happy and at peace.

God is a jealous God and he wants to be the most important thing in our lives.  We are told to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  (Matthew 6:33).   I wonder how often we place our emphasis on all these other things.  In Colossians 3:5 we are told that covetousness is idolatry.   We are letting other things take the place that God should have in our lives.  He should be our chief desire.  In him, we find true joy and happiness, not in the things of this world.


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3 Responses to “Covetousness”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    Well said. I think is a very often misunderstood command. I know I didn’t view it this way most of my life. Truth is, I have found it to blot out joy. not bring happiness.

  2. Gloria Says:

    Buy now – pay later. Buy now –when you go to pay you don’t even know where it is. Want it, gotta have it, charge it!! It’s the American way. It is not God’s way. It is sad to see how some will justify ‘hording’ and then give God leftovers. Yikes

  3. Pastor Curt Says:

    Suzanne, This command is often overlooked, as well as misunderstood.
    Gloria, we are blessed, to be a blessing, not to hoard for ourselves.

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