Content to covet

The tenth commandment speaks on coveting; things like your neighbor’s spouse, your neighbor’s, livestock, your neighbor’s house, and your neighbor’s possessions or things. A quick word study reveals that envy lies at the heart of this and even ties closely to lust. So it is a strong desire that asks to be gratifyingly fulfilled.

It seems to be pointing to motivations that not just want something else, but to want something to the point that it consumes you and your thoughts. That it will begin to drive your actions, interactions, feelings, and relationships.

One alternative is to be content with what you have. Is this our nature in a culture built on consumerism? No. Why would ads exist other than to entice you towards something you don’t have or something you think you need more of?

It seems the only thing many of us are content with is a constant coveting of what we don’t have. We don’t have the newest, the best, the biggest, the fastest, the sharpest, the shiniest, the _____ and for some people, that hits on the emotional and intellectual scale somewhere between annoying to consuming our every thought and desire.

However, what if we don’t limit it to “stuff”? What if we extend it to relationships and perceived success? Do we want “their marriage” or “their kids” or “their life”? Do we want “their job” or “their education” or “their awards”? I don’t mean that you admire and recognize some things and use them to motivate you to work harder, but that maybe you wish you had what they have and you actually hope to see them fail? Or maybe you become so consumed with the by products of who they are that you miss what to concentrate on.

How many times do we miss enjoying what we do have because we focus on what we don’t? Maybe this bad enough with things, but how much worse is it with people? It leaves the question then, do we view people and relationship as valuable as stuff? Are people just a means to what we want, what makes us happy, what makes us content?

The truth is, when we covet, when we are consumed with the chase, getting it doesn’t make us content. Instead, we usually just change focus and that which consumed us now gathers dust. It’s the case with stuff and too many times, I believe, it is the case with our relationships.

What do you think?


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