From my journal, February 28, 2013
"You shall not covet…"
Jesus, for me this means both stuff and ministry. I am not particularly (at this point in my life) interested in what somebody else may have by way of possessions, but I can be sucked into coveting who somebody else may be by way of achievement…or at least what I think they have achieved.
I am tempted to covet someone else's:
Deliver me from any and all of this. Everything I have is from your loving and sovereign hand, as well as is everything I don't have. Help me to be okay with that!
People who need to feel important, look important and be important are seldom content and often are harmful to the team and organization with which they work. How much success, fruit, accolades, etc. does a covetous leader need and want? To echo Rockefeller: just a little bit more.
I think most of us are familiar with 1 John 2:15,16 (here in the ESV)
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.”
Here it is in The Message,
“Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him.”
Eugene Peterson is saying the world consists of...
- The world’s ways
- The world’s goods
The world’s ways are...
- Wanting your own way: the desires of the flesh
- Wanting everything for yourself: the desires of the eyes
- Wanting to appear important: the pride of life
I think his interpretations are very accurate. The one that strikes home with me is wanting to appear important. This is one I struggle with on a regular basis. It has to do with not having my security and significance in Jesus but elsewhere.
The acceptable sin…the glossed-over sin…the look-the-other-way sin is coveting. Coveting someone else’s successes, someone else’s personality, someone else’s gifting or someone else’s capacity; instead of being content with who God made me to be.
Be yourself…everyone else is taken!