You shall not covet

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. Exodus 20:17

It happens with the latest gadgets. It also happens when a friend purchases a new car, boat or other extravagance. They become the envy of others and sometimes, those who are envious become downright jealous. We want what they have. Keeping up with our neighbors is something we have all experienced. In the worst of instances, some have gone to great lengths to cheat their neighbor out of what is rightfully theirs.

The ninth commandment warns us concerning such behavior. God said, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.” Coveting our neighbor’s property, desiring what is not ours, or seeking to gain control of another’s property can only lead to discontent and emptiness. Luther explains the commandment more fully. We should fear and love God so that we do not scheme to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, or get it in a way which only appears right, but help and be of service to him in keeping it.

In all aspects of life, God must be at the center of our wants, for it is God who fulfills our need.  As we remember Jesus’ example of love for his neighbor and self-giving sacrifice, we are afforded the proper perspective. When we see our neighbor through the eyes of Christ, we realize the joy of serving, and the blessing of our God who provides for us life in abundance.

Prayer: Give me a thankful heart, O God, that I might realize the full joy of your blessing. Amen.

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