Recently, I did a word study on a word not often used in today’s vernacular; the word “covet”. Why a word study? Good question. While chatting with a friend, I shared my desire for life to be different. “I find myself watching others”, I told her. “As I observe people older than myself, who appear to have good health and the ability to move about freely, accomplishing with ease what I now find difficult or impossible, I find myself wishing for what I no longer possess”. I went on to say, “I know in my heart-of-hearts its sin, but what sin?” “Jealousy”, she asked? “No, I’m not jealous or envious of them; I simply wish I had what I once had. I expected life at this age would be different”. We’d been chatting for about an hour when she says, “Sandra, are you coveting? Is that what you’re doing?” Her question stopped me dead in my thoughts. Coveting? Now there was a new thought… “Hmm, I don’t know, I said; maybe. Not sure what it means to covet”. Well my friends, I’m guilty of coveting.
To covet: 1 – to desire what belongs to another, inordinately (beyond what is usual, normal or proper) in essence, to be fixated upon. Nope that one didn’t fit. 2 – to wish for, to yearn earnestly. The word yearning hit me between the eyeballs. Yearning … an intense desire to have something which one has typically lost or become separated from. In my case, the loss of health and the inability to do that which I once could do in the same way, etc. Oh my! That one fits.
Why does God warn us against coveting? When we covet we ignore the blessings and gifts God provides for his children. Using me as an example: When I’m wishing to turn back the clock to a time when I had fairly good health and I could walk with ease; no broken bones, no back issues, etc., I’m saying to God, “You’re not taking care of me as you promised”. “God, your provision isn’t good enough”. I’m behaving as God’s chosen people, the Israelites did. They pined for what they once had; appearing to have forgotten God rescued them from cruel captivity and slavery. They’re so busy wanting the past they’re missing the promise of the future; the land of milk and honey where God was leading.
I really am grateful for all the Lord has done in my life and for the many blessings he has provided. I have no desire to follow, to be like, the Israelites. If you recall they ended up wandering in the desert for 40 years for their lack of appreciation and there covetousness of the past. May I learn from their sin, confess my own, ask for forgiveness and become the grateful, appreciative child I know God created me to be.
Perhaps it’s time we as a people revisit and examine our lives in light of the word, covet. I know I shall.
Until next time,
“And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Luke 12:15