God invites us to live a life of fullness. God also knows we are covetous people wanting more than what is healthy and good. Sometimes our desire for material possessions leads us scheme against our neighbor to satisfy our wants at our neighbor’s expense. Yet, not only are we consumers and competitive beings, we are also sexual beings. The desire for conquest often invades our relationships. Thus, God said, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
The tenth commandment teaches that we are not to covet our neighbor’s spouse, yet all too often we learn of extra marital affairs between friends and fellow co-workers. There are endless examples and instances of what is considered “innocent flirtation.” Tragically, such behavior might lead to preoccupation, desire, and ultimately divorce. Because of sin, we are covetous people even in our relationships. So, what do we do? There can be but one response; love God.
In his explanation of these commandments against coveting, Martin Luther restates that we are to fear and love God above all things, above our desire for status, our desire for material goods and especially our desire for another’s spouse. We are to remain steadfast in our relationships and loyal to our neighbor. When we love God above all else, we also remain steadfast in the relationships we share with one another.
Prayer: Lord God, keep us steadfast in our relationships, that we may live with fullness and joy as you continue to provide all we need. Amen.