When the Bible tells us that God is no respecter of persons, what this means is that we are all on an equal footing with the Lord – we are all equal in the eyes of God. This means that He loves each and everyone of us equally and unconditionally.
However, as we also know, we are not all equal down here on this earth in the way that material wealth and goods are distributed out to each one of us in this life. Some people will get more of the money and material blessings of this life than other people will.
As a result of how the money and material goods are distributed out in this life, many countries have divided people up in the terms of upper class, middle class, and lower class, with the people in the upper class having more of the material goods and wealth of this world than the middle and lower class will have.
Then as a result of the way some people will have more of the material wealth and goods of this world, many people who do not have this same kind of wealth and goods coming their way will then start to get very jealous of the people who do.
They start envying, desiring, and coveting all of the goods and wealth that their neighbors, friends, and family members have that they do not have.
As a result of this kind of intense coveting, they then come into direct violation of one of the 10 commandments given to us by the Lord where He tells us not to be coveting anything that our neighbor may have that we do not have.
Once again, here is this most powerful verse from our Bible, which is the very last of the 10 commandments given to us by our Lord. It is the 10th commandment.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor ANYTHING that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)
The key word to pick up on in this verse is the word “covet.” The word “covet” means the following from some of the different Bible Dictionaries:
- An insatiable desire for worldly gain
- An inordinate desire to have more
- The inordinate desire to possess what belongs to another, usually tangible things
- An ungoverned and selfish desire that threatens the basic rights of others
- The desire to have something for oneself that belongs to another, a craving or passionate desire
The second key thing to pick up from this verse is the very last part of it where it tells us that God does not want us to covet “anything” that our neighbor has that we do not have. The word “anything” is an all-inclusive type of word and this verse should thus be interpreted very literally.
However, as we all know, especially in the very materialistic type of world we live in today, this tenth commandment is a real hard one to try and abide by.
If we are all really honest with ourselves, many of us have probably been in violation of this tenth commandment to some degree during the course of our lives.
How many times over the years have you been jealous of some of the things your neighbors, friends, or even some of the members of your own family had that you did not have?
Many of us have been jealous over such things as a new car, a new wife, a new house, a new wardrobe, a new job, or a new promotion that someone may have received while we were left standing with nothing coming in on our end.
If we are Christians when some of this starts to happen to us, we then start to feel left out and forgotten.
We feel that the Lord has forgotten about us and that He does not really love us or care for us since everyone else is getting so much more in the area of material wealth and goods than we are. From there, our feelings will get hurt and we will then start to pout and feel sorry for ourselves.
However, as we grow older and get more mature in our walk with the Lord, we gradually start to see that all of this material wealth and goods in this life is really irrelevant in respect to how God has the big picture set up for our lives.
We come to realize that not one ounce, not one penny of our neighbor’s goods will be going with them to the other side once they die and cross over.
As we have said before, no suitcases will need to be packed on anyone’s death bed. The only thing that will be leaving on your deathbed is your soul and your spirit. Everything else will be staying completely behind – left to either rot and perish, or left to those who you love and trust.
If you still find yourself getting too jealous of what others may have in this life that you do not have, study very carefully the three verses I will now give you. I have talked about these three verses in my article titled, “Godliness With Contentment is Great Gain.” But for the purposes of this article, I want to once more restate each one of them for you so you can get a real grip on this problem.
These three verses in particular should be kept front and center in every believer’s walk with the Lord, especially since we all have to face the daily temptation of wanting more of the material things in this life.
- “Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things as you have.” (Hebrews 13:5)
- “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11)
- “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6: 6-11)
The very first verse says it all when it tells us that our conduct in this life should be without any type of covetousness, and that we should learn how to be perfectly content with what we already do have in the Lord.
Then in the second verse, the apostle Paul really drives this point home even further when he tells us that we should always be perfectly content in the Lord no matter what kind of state we may find ourselves in – whether we are abounding or abasing. In other words, learn how to be content in the Lord even during the worse of times as well as the best of times, as God will always be there to help you get through any bad times you may have to face in this life.
Then in the third verse, the apostle Paul adds the following, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” Again, no suitcases will need to be packed on your death bed.
This is why you should never get too caught up with what material wealth and goods your friends and neighbors may have that you will not have in this life.
If you do not get a good grip on this problem and get it properly taken care of with the Lord, it could then end up robbing you of much of your peace and joy in the Lord.
It is extremely important that you get this commandment properly worked into your mindset with how you look and view things in this life. If you do not, you could end up getting too mad and frustrated with God with how He is working and building up your life in Him.
And from there, you could literally end up taking yourself right out of the divine destiny that He has set up for your life.
Again, in the type of day and age we all now live in, this particular commandment is a real hard one for many to try and abide by.
With the incredible advances we have now made in the area of technology, we now have many more toys and goodies that we can buy than we have ever had before in the history of the entire world. Computers, high-definition TV’s, cell phones, cars, fancy and expensive houses, and different types of clothes all having us thinking about the next new material thing we can buy.
If one of our friends has bought the latest wide-screen TV, computer, or cell phone, we then have to try and keep up and buy the same thing.
And then once that product goes out of style, we then have to buy the newest and most up-to-date model in order to always have the best and the latest, especially if those around us are always doing it.
As a result of trying to keep up with your neighbors and friends in the area of material goods, you are coming into direct conflict with what God is wanting from all of us in the above verse.
You are constantly coveting what your neighbor has that you do not have, and God does not want you living your life like this, as all it will end up eventually doing is making you miserable and unhappy.
Only finding Jesus, and then entering into a true personal relationship with Him will give you the joy, peace, happiness, and fulfillment that you are really looking for.
All of the material goods you can buy in this life will not give you that kind of joy, peace, and contentment.
All of the material goods in this life will do nothing but end up leaving you dead, lifeless, and empty on the inside once everything is all finally said and done on your life.
And again, not one ounce of anything that you have bought or saved up for will be going with you to the other side once you die and cross over.
If you want to really find and experience true happiness, joy, peace, contentment, and fulfillment in this life, then look to find it in your personal relationship with the Lord.
Do not look to find it in the world or the material things of this world. If you do, you will end up being bitterly disappointed, not to mention losing whatever God’s perfect plan and destiny would have been for your life.
You only have one chance to get it right and fully accomplish what God will be wanting you to do in this life.
Do not waste and squander your one and only opportunity to complete whatever God’s perfect will and plan is going to be for your life.
As we have shown you in our article titled, “Rewards in Heaven,” God will be rewarding you for the works and labors that you will be doing down here on this earth for Him. God will not be rewarding you for any type of works that you end up doing just for yourself or your own selfish ambitions, or for any type of wealth or material goods you have managed to accumulate for yourself.
As such, make sure you always keep your priorities straight and continue to see the big picture as to how God sees it. Do not ever compare your life and where it is going with the Lord to anyone else’s life and where they are going with the Lord.
Each fully surrendered Christian is on their own unique and individual journey with the Lord, and you should never compare where you are going with the Lord and what material goods He has brought into your life to where they are going and what material goods they have in their life with the Lord.
If you start becoming too envious and jealous of what others have in this life that you do not have, then you will start coming into direct conflict with the above 10th commandment – and that is not a place you want to be at in your own personal relationship with the Lord.
This life is way too short to be constantly worrying about what others may have that you do not have – especially with none of it being able to go with you once you die and cross over into heaven.
Once again, our Lord has given us a very powerful revelation from His Word with this 10th commandment. Now, more than ever, we really need to grab a hold of this revelation and get it worked into our walk and mindsets with the Lord.
Over the years, many Christians have had their lives totally ruined due to abandoning the Lord and chasing after worldly and fleshly pursuits instead of staying with the divine plan that God had already set up for their lives.
How many lives and ministries have been brought down as a result of chasing after the material and lustful things of this world rather than chasing after what God was wanting to do with their lives?
We have seen quite a few of these train wrecks over the years, and a lot of it may have started as a result of some of them coming into direct violation of this 10th commandment.
If you have fully surrendered your entire life into the Lord’s hand, He will then guide you into the divine destiny that He has set up for your life.
And once God starts to guide you into your divine destiny, He will then start to bring in every little thing you will need in this life to properly fulfill that call.
And once that starts to happen with the Lord, be very happy and very content with whatever the Lord does bring into your life. Do not compare what He brings into your life with what anyone else has in their life, especially in the area of wealth and material goods.
If you do, all it will end up doing is robbing you of your peace and joy in Him.
Again, this life is simply way too short to let this happen to you, as your peace and joy in the Lord is something that is extremely important in your walk with Him.
Lose your peace and joy in the Lord and you could easily get yourself knocked right out of your divine destiny with Him, as you will then be more easily tempted to want to chase after the other worldly things in this life instead of chasing after the Lord and His perfect plan for your life.
This is how many great men and women of God have fallen over the years, all as a result of them being seduced by the world and all of the material and lustful pleasures it has to offer.
This is why God has told us in His Word that we will literally become His enemy if we ever become too friendly with the world and the ways of it.
Again, notice what the apostle Paul has said at the end of the third verse above:
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness …” (1 Timothy 6:10)
This is why the Lord has made sure to make this one of His very special commandments. He knew that once we started to covet what our neighbors and friends had that we did not have, that it would not be long before the actual love of money would then start to get a real hold on us and from there, knock us right out of divine calls and personal relationship with Him.
This verse is a major bone-chilling verse, as it shows us how easily we can lose our relationship with the Lord, along with everything else we have built up-to-date with Him.
When the apostle Paul tells us that the love of money can actually cause greediness to occur in us and from there, cause us to want to stray from the Lord, this is a major red flag and warning for all of us and we should take this warning very, very seriously, as the love and pursuit of money has brought down too many men, women, marriages, ministries, businesses, and governments all across the world over the years.
Once again, God the Father knows exactly what He is talking about when He lays down these kinds of commandments for all of us to abide by in this life.
Wednesday 14th of October 2020
Excellent article. Detailed everything one needs to know about not coveting. Currently Experiencing someone doing me harm. Needed to read more about covetous to see how to handle the situation. Article is quite helpful.
John Seng Latt
Thursday 8th of September 2016
Thanks alot all of you. May God bless you and keep you and may continue using for His ministry as long as he use.
Saturday 9th of March 2013
I just wanted to let whomever wrote this article that it was Excellent. The breakdown was very well done and relateaable. Not coveting sometimes can be a hard thing but I never really thought of why Heavenly Father commanded us not to do it. This was such a blessing to me so Thank you so much for writing this article. Have a excellent day! Billie