I laugh when I think back to my wedding day. My man and I didn’t say the traditional “for better or for worse” vows. We found vows in a marriage book that had the word “covenant” scattered throughout, which seemed beautifully appropriate.
But the pastor couldn’t get it quite right. Instead of “covenant,” he kept saying “covet.” “Lara, will you covet…?” And “Adam, do you covet…?”
Yes. Yes I do. And yes I will. When left to my natural, sinful, irritating flesh, I’m gonna want what you’ve got or be who you are. It’s the nature of the human beast. When we see someone doing something or having something that we want to do or have, we covet. Pure and simple.
We see the lot of others and pout when our desires don’t match up with their reality. That’s why He instructed, “You shall not covet.” (Exodus 20:17) Because He perfectly knows our nature.
Ultimately our coveting says, “God, You must not know what You’re doing in my life because if You did then I would have this and that. Or I would be this or that.” A lie from the liar himself. (John 8:44)
Coveting forgets that God’s love motivates His movement in the lives of His children. Coveting strangles the joy to be unwrapped in today’s moments. Coveting blinds us to the gifts He has in this season of life.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry…
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…
Colossians 3:5, 3:12-14
So when that very human reaction to others comes over us, here are two things we can do to fight it off:
- Remember true things. I know. I say it all the time. But we forget. In those moments of coveting we forget that God has a plan specific for us. And His plan is good. We have to remember. That means we need to do a little preaching in our closet. We need to rehearse the true things.
“God You love me. You have plans for me. You have me where You want me. You are working things together for my good and Your glory. I trust You and thank You!” Remember the truth.
- Speak blessings over the other. I started this habit a couple of years ago. And it continues to lift me out of any comparison-jealousy funk I find myself entangled with. I pray greater blessings on the one I’m coveting after.
Whether it’s her season of life, her ministry, her spouse, her kids, whatever it may be, when I feel covetousness rise up I start speaking greater blessing over her. I may say, “Lord, multiply her effectiveness in ministry. Strengthen the union between her and her husband. Use her kids mightily for kingdom purposes.” Whatever it is, I pray greater blessing. It’s what I would want someone to do for me.
Covetousness is just one more thing that strips us of the abundant life in Christ. Let’s set our eyes today on the One who has our days written in His book. Let’s trust Him to do the very best in us and through us. And let’s bless those who walk all around us.
Fill me, Lord…
What do you do when you start to covet?
What true things can you choose to think upon when the feeling comes?