Are You a Good Person?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You Will Not Covet

This is the last of the Ten Commandments, but it's pretty inclusive. The word covet means "to want ardently (esp., something that another person has); long for with envy," and has synonyms of, "desire, envy, wish for; see envy, want." What's more, covet is a verb, not a noun or an adjective. It mean you are actually doing something. When the word "covet" is used, I think it is all too often vague for most of us, but when we change it to "desire" or "want" this commandment takes on a life. It seems like a strong hand strangling the very life out of you. For who doesn't have wants, desires, goals, ambitions? How many of us have wanted something simply because someone else had one?

Parents, here is a good teaching tool, but you must learn to live the truth of it as well. When a child says, "Aw, come on. All the other kids have one," tell them that they are guilty, already, before God for coveting something that is not their's. "All the other kids get to go to dances!" young Mary whines. "Oh, so you would covet this before God? You would give away the treasures He has to have what they have?" Now, you know they're going to bristle at this. So be gentle with the way you use it. The Law isn't meant to clobber people and beat them down. It is meant to train and teach. And if they must make mistakes to learn, do you, as parents love them any less? So it is with God. We will be looking at this in future posts. For now, teach, train, guide your children, and yes, yourself, so that you don't want something because someone else has it.

Confession time! I remember back when everyone had CB radios. My dad had one, of course he is an amateur radio operator to begin with. Then my brother got one. I felt I NEEDED one. I've actually had two or three. They were mildly amusing and helped time go by on long trips. But did I really need it? No, I got it because others had it. I coveted what my dad and my brother, and what seemed like everyone else had. If you must covet something, covet this, a closer walk with God, a love from Him that controls the way you think about yourself and others, and moves you to reach out and give. Covet this and you will do well. Covet the things of people and you will always, always, find yourself ensnared by them to one degree or another.

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