TRANSCRIPT: Good morning, Five Minute Families. How has this past week treated you? We have had many things hit the calendar in the past few days, so our busy level has elevated. Many families live life in a constant state of “busy.” They almost wear “busy” as a badge of honor.
One reason busy-ness is so highly valued in our society is because we are all running around trying to get the best of everything… the best home, the best shoes, the best vacations, the best experiences, etc. Stop a moment and ask yourself… are you busy because you are sinning? Stick with us here… are you busy because you are coveting and thus acting on seeking out the very things you see others have and you want?
Those are some hard questions to ponder. Please realize we are not saying that coveting is not simply wanting something. Having the thought that a house you drive by is nice, and you would like to have one someday is not the sin of coveting. Coveting is excessively desiring something that belongs to someone else and dwelling on the wanting of it for your own.
Again, we are not talking about wanting a new home when yours is filling with mold or wanting a new home when you can afford it and your family would benefit from extra space. Maybe you want to be able to host a church small group. However, if you want that house and THEN that want becomes a sinful thought pattern that leads you into debt, deceit, or some other pattern of sin, that is breaking the tenth commandment. To think that our desire for a new home or a new car or a new whatever is breaking one of the ten commandments can be quite sobering.
Some say the tenth commandment is not the simple add-on many think it is after the big sins of murder and idolatry, but rather the tenth commandment is actually a culmination of the nine that precede it. Colossians 3:5 tells us the covetousness is idolatry. Jeremiah 6:13 tells us that covetousness can lead to lying. 2 Samuel 11 shows how covetousness can lead to adultery. Micah 2:2 tells us that covetousness can lead to theft. 1 Kings 21 illustrates how covetousness can lead to murder.
So, ok, we can all agree… coveting is bad. It is an internal sin that can become an external one very quickly and very badly. But, how do we deal with it when it seeps into our family’s life? And it will seep in. Before we address what we should do about coveting as a family or how to help our kids deal with coveting, we need to address with our own covetous hearts. What about us, parents? What do we do when we are coveting? Here are five practical ideas to implement:
- Practice being content. As Paul said in Philippians 4:11, “I have learned in whatever situation to be content.” When we begin to think of something we want, we must take an inventory of what we already have. Is what we have meeting our needs?
- Evaluate your concept of happiness. Are you placing your happiness in things or activities that you might get to do? We need to look to Christ and glorifying God for our true, lasting happiness. Psalm 16:11 states, “You will make known to me the way of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”
- Avoid speaking aloud your covetous thoughts. Take those thoughts captive when they are still ‘first thoughts.’ Not only should you not dwell on covetous thoughts, you should not speak them out loud.
- Do not compare yourself to others. Obviously, that is so much easier said than done. If you have a bad habit of doing this, you need to replace that habit with a positive one. Instead of comparing yourself to others, stop the critical voice inside your head, make a list of your strengths (yes, write them down), and you might need to take a social media fast.
- Assess whether you have allowed the sin of coveting to lead you to other sinful behavior. This can be especially tough to admit. If you have sinned, confess that sin. Make restitution if needed, and repent to the Lord for your mistakes.
Five Minute Families, we are walking through this sanctification process with you. We often write about the very things we are dealing with ourselves or in our own family. No one is immune to sin, and it is our hope and joy to walk this path with you. If you ever want more information about what we do here at Clear View Retreat, please check us out on our website at clearviewretreat.org, and you can get past Five Minute Devotionals on your favorite podcast server.
Please remember to join us next week as we conclude this discussion by addressing what we need to do as parents to help our kids deal with coveting. May God guide you and keep you this week. May His light shine upon you. Be blessed!