The word “covet” is used in the 10th commandment of the Law that God gave to Moses: it says we should not covet various things that belong to our neighbor.
To covet means to want something very strongly that someone else has. Our “neighbor” means everyone around us.
What we covet does not always have to be a physical thing: we might covet someone’s talent, social status, or even their life. Coveting opens the door to jealousy because we are so focused on having what others have that we forget the blessings that God has given us.
To fight against coveting, we need a solid action plan. First, we have to realize what we might covet: do your friends have the latest technology? Are others “liked” more on social media? Do they have better clothes than you? Only you know what you secretly wish you had of someone else’s. Second, we need to channel our desire into a different direction – one that is humble and pleasing to God, like counting our blessings and learning to be content with what God has provided for us. In 1 Timothy, (6:8 NJB) Paul says, “As long as we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.”
Is all coveting bad? Not when we strongly desire something that is spiritually attractive! Here’s how we can make coveting godly: Maybe we want to be more forgiving or sympathetic towards others because we are inspired by a godly person we respect and admire. We think about these good qualities and picture ourselves working hard to improve our characters. Then we turn our inward thinking into outward actions – we aren’t so quick to be angry if someone mistreats us, or we feel sad and want to help if someone is hurting. In this way, coveting spiritual things can be positive, because it motivates us to redirect our thoughts and actions.
So, what does it mean to covet? To desire something very strongly that someone else has. This type of attitude means we are not content or happy with God’s blessings towards us, so it’s very disrespectful to the Lord. If we catch ourselves wanting what others have, we should redirect our thinking and focus on spiritually-attractive qualities we want to develop within ourselves. We should count our many blessings and pray for help to be content with what we have.
1 Timothy (6:11,12 NASB) has good advice to help us avoid coveting: “But flee from these things, … and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness…” We also read in Hebrews (13:5 NKJ) “Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have.”
This video is from Christian Questions Podcast. For more information please go to https://christianquestions.com