Coveting isn’t a common word, so let’s nail it down. Coveting isn’t wanting something. Coveting isn’t wanting something someone else has. Coveting is wanting something – or someone – that someone else has that you cannot or should not have.
For example if I see my neighbor’s dog – good with kids, bring me my newspaper, runs away from my neighbor to me – my job is to help my neighbor keep his dog. I suppose I could ask my neighbor if he would be willing to sell his dog to me. (That might be horrifying to you dog lovers who see them as a member of the family. Technically it’s not wrong to sell your dog.) If the neighbor said he wasn’t for sale, any thought of mine that entertained having that dog as my own would be coveting.
Sounds simple? Maybe on paper or in the sterile screen of a blog post, but in practice controlling our emotions and thoughts is really difficult. In the movie Minority Report, the action played by Tom Cruise is charged with being the thought police. Premeditated murder is easy to catch because it’s premeditated! They know what you’re thinking. In the movie’s opening scene there is a crime of passion (a jealous husband) about to happen so there wasn’t much warning and our hero much swoop in with seconds to spare to stop the crime. The premise of the movie is that there was almost no crime – at all. Because if the police can stop people at their criminal thoughts, then they can stop the crime!
It sounds like our God had that figured out back when he created the world. All of us have been given a conscience that reflects our God’s holy, immutable will for our lives. In Jesus we have the ability to live that will out to his glory. It won’t be perfect, but our God loves to see us reflect his love onto a dying world.
Want to hear more? Watch this week’s lesson from our series Back to the Basics: the 9th and 10th Commandments.
Please click HERE for the Bible class slides.