“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
This commandment really looks at what’s in our hearts. What exactly does it mean to covet? It is to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of another. When a man breaks this commandment, he desires in his heart what is not rightfully his.
When these thoughts are in someone’s heart, they can manifest themselves in many unfortunate ways. For example, when a man covets his neighbor’s property or possessions, it can manifest its self in the form of theft. When a man covets his neighbors wife, it can manifest its self in the act of adultery. Most of our actions begin with our thoughts. This is why I said earlier that this commandment really looks at what’s in our hearts. If our hearts are free from covetousness, then these actions will be far from us.
Now please understand, I’m not speaking against someone desiring to improve their situation in life. There is nothing wrong with desiring a wife, a nicer car, or even more income. I think it’s admirable to desire to improve your own position in life. Where our desires go haywire is when instead of working to improve our lives through honest means, we covet someone else’s work and possessions. As I’ve stated before, most of our actions begin with our thoughts, and if our thoughts are covetous in nature, when manifested they will lead to evil.
Many a murder has its roots in this thought process. Even wars and oppression oftentimes have their roots in this mindset. Unfortunately there have been far too many examples of people being oppressed, killed, and enslaved by individuals who covet and lust after power and some demented form of prestige. These governments, regimes, and groups because of what they desire, think it nothing to oppress, murder, and terrorize people to obtain and hold onto positions of power.
So how can we rid ourselves of this condition,and not allow it to take root in our lives? One way I believe, is for us to have a grateful attitude for what God has blessed us with. Realizing that God is not a respecter of persons, and that if we trust in him, the best is yet to come.
Another, even more important way to keep ourselves in order is to cultivate love in our hearts. Remember, the greatest thing a man can do is love. The Apostle Paul gives us the most pure definition of true love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. He tells us “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Notice that love does not envy. It does not dishonor others, and it is not self-seeking. When love is the dominant spirit in a man’s heart, there is no room for covetousness to take root. When love is present, there is no room for adultery, theft, or murder.
Let’s rid ourselves of all that corrupts our actions and character, and cultivate love so that evil has no place to take root in our hearts. With love, we can all become better men and reach our true potential.
Thank you for taking this journey with us as we looked at our conscience and how it is a man’s best friend. I hope it has been a blessing to you, and that your able to see how God’s ten commandments are already in our hearts, being our conscience.
Upon looking over these articles in our series, if you were to ask yourself have you kept God’s ten commandments, the answer would most likely be no. If we are honest with ourselves, we can see that we have broken these commandments at one time or another. Please click on the following link, which addresses this topic, and leads us to a rock solid foundation for becoming better men.