Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Have you ever wondered if God values your happiness? If so, look no further than the last of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:17 reads: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
God’s last commandment mimics the fourth commandment (to keep the Sabbath holy). He gives us seven examples of what not to covet, just as he gave seven examples of who should not do work on the Sabbath. So why give seven examples? Why end the commandments with such a strong warning against covetousness? Because God knew how dangerous covetousness would be to our joy and to our peace. He wanted to remind us of what could destroy us, because God values our happiness.
Covetousness starts small.
Wanting what others have starts with those simple glances over someone’s Facebook profile, thinking… “it would be nice.” Those thoughts grow quietly, tugging at hearts until we can no longer ignore the discontentment inside of us. We keep looking around, fueling a blinding desire to want what was never meant for us. We forget that our journeys are unique. Our successes are varied. Our timelines are different. We may coincidentally want the same things, but that doesn’t mean our paths to get there will be the same.
We become angry when we don’t get the results that are meant for other people. As much as it may hurt, those outcomes aren’t for us, but don’t doubt that God doesn’t have greatness in store for you. He’s crafted each of our lives with love. Let’s not neglect God’s will because we’ve created our own will. Never forget that some of the greatest memories and hardest tragedies are never broadcasted for public consumption. We shouldn’t base our happiness on imperfect lives that we will never fully see.
It’s tempting to want what someone else has…especially when it seems good. In the Garden of Eve, Satan tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit by saying, you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5). Covetousness, however, is actually an insult towards God. It’s saying what He has given us has fallen short, and we need to step in to help Him out.
Our lack of gratitude causes us to mistakenly find fault with ourselves, others, and God. And that’s a mistake that we don’t want to make, because at the core of covetousness, is unhappiness. The story of Lot’s wife reminds us that it’s worth the effort to not become distracted. If we do, we become a pillar of salt – unable to move forward because we became stuck looking backwards.
Letting go of Covetousness
The possessions, relationships, careers, hair types, degrees… all of it… not meant for you, or for me. And let’s not forget the other side of this coin. There are times where the people around us push us to want what they have or what they want for us. They pick us apart everything we have because they perceive what they have to be better. It’s hard for us not to take that on… we are human. But seriously, do everything in your power to not take that on.
Surround yourself with people that love you, and don’t be afraid to say to someone… I don’t want that. I don’t want what you have, and honestly, I shouldn’t. We’re all on our paths. We all have our own goals and dreams. God will take me exactly where I need to go. You will have the best possible outcome, and I promise, it’ll be more than you ever imagined. That’s the power of God and that’s the beauty of His love. God cares about your happiness. Just make sure you care about it too.Print This Devotional