“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife . . . or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).
Do you know what it means to covet? To long for or strongly desire something that belongs to someone else.
Why do you think God tells us not to covet?
He knows that if we dwell on something long enough, we will figure out how to get it. We will rationalize ourselves into believing that our desire is okay, perhaps even that it is something that God wants us to have.
I think the most dangerous thing a woman can covet is a man, especially a man who is married to someone else.
One of my very best friends began to covet a better marriage. Instead of trying to improve her relationship with her own husband, she fell in love with another person’s husband. She could not manage her thought life. Soon, she was meeting him. Then they began to sleep together. Over time, two families were ruined.
Another friend coveted a better house. She could not be happy with her lack of material possessions. So, she traded in her husband for someone richer—a man who could buy her what she wanted. Another two families ruined.
God tells us not to covet because it changes us. It makes us bitter inside. We become obsessed with what we cannot have.
It spoils otherwise innocent relationships. Coveting makes us less—not more—than what we are.
I have another friend, and she has learned this secret—she rejoices in the good fortune of her friends and family. She has almost nothing and yet she has something I myself covet—true happiness.
Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.
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Copyright (c) 2003 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.