February 27, 2018                                                                                              

Exodus 20:12-17 … “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” vs. 17

The people of God have long agreed that there are ten commandments, though most would be hard-pressed to list them in the proper order. And there’s considerable debate about which commandments should be included in the list of ten. Most folks insist that there should be mention of a prohibition against graven images while Lutherans opt for two commandments about coveting. Now it’s unlikely that Lutherans are more prone to coveting than other denominations—although that may certainly be a possibility. But what we do know, is that coveting is a huge issue for a lot of people and is directly related to the first commandment, the one about having no other gods. In fact, in our market driven economy, advertisers take pain to stimulate coveting among us…they want us to desire those things that our neighbor has…and many succumb to their cleverly crafted slogans and images. Some folks end up spending their entire lives in an endless quest for accumulation, having been persuaded that if they can just get more stuff their life will be complete. Of course that’s all a lie. True peace comes through contentment and contentment comes as our spiritual lives are enriched and nourished. Material possessions are indeed a gift from God and not to be disdained, but—they can’t bring us joy.

Thought for the Day: What do I covet most?