“Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns.”

The tenth commandment, which deals with coveting, speaks to our deepest attitudes. Of course, the word, “covet,” means to be dissatisfied with what we have and to desire more, regardless of what it may cost us or someone else.

One Christmas when I was a young boy, I received everything that I had wanted. I was so happy. I thought, “This is the greatest Christmas I’ve ever had!” Then I went over to my friend’s house and saw his gifts. Suddenly, I was miserable, because he had been given something that I sort of wanted, but I had forgotten about it.

All of a sudden, all that I had (as wonderful as it was) was no longer acceptable, because my friend had something that I wanted more. That is what coveting is.

As adults, we can do this as well. Everything is fine in our lives, but then we see what our neighbor has. We see what somebody else has. Then we begin to covet that. We want that—and sadly, some will even go out and take whatever it is they are coveting. We might even covet another person’s spouse.

It can ruin our lives. We are not to covet.

Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment is, ” ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind’ ” (Matthew 22:37) and that a second and equally important command is to ” ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ ” (verse 39).

All the other commandments are based on these two. So, if you can get these down, then everything else will come naturally.

Author: Godfrey Gregg