E-Mail 'You Shall Not Covet: Bible Lesson and Life Application' To A Friend

by Dr. Michael L. Williams · Print Print · Email Email

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DocReits November 19, 2014 at 2:28 am

Hi Dr Williams,

Hopefully you can set me straight here, because I am that guy who wants/desires what other people have. I don’t want their possessions, by taking their possessions from them. I just want the same items they have which I will purchase for myself. I want a nice car, house and lawn , with no weeds just like my neighbor, Bob. I really desire to have a lawn that looks just like my neighbor’s great looking lawn…

When the new iPhones(6 Plus) came out, I wanted one, just like my tech savvy son-in-law has. Man that big screen and those cool features float my boat and I can hardly wait until my contract comes up in only 14 more days so I can place my order!!

Now, I always thought, much like most of your examples pointed out, that if I wanted “The Exact” iPhone my son-in-law has, wanting his iPhone(that one which belongs to him and he has in his back pocket) for my very own…which would deny him of his having it….then that would be covetous.

OTOH, if I wanted to have 10 servants just like he has, that would not be covetous…. unless my desire was to dispossess him of his servants, taking them for myself. That would be covetous. I would have the wicked intent of robbing him of what was his possession.

Are we on the same page here?

So having nice things and even being desirous of what your neighbor has is not covetousness, IMO. Covetousness, is the desire to have what your neighbor has with the additional intent of satisfying your desire by taking those things for yourself, which rightfully belong to your neighbor.

Having said all of that, “Godliness with contentment is great gain”(1 Tim 6:6), although I still plan, God willing, on getting that iPhone 6 Plus…;-)



Dr. Michael Williams November 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Thanks for your reply DocReits. Here are verses that I often use in counseling and I constantly challenge myself with that answer these questions. The question has to be, where is my focus and what difference will it make in eternity?

Psalms 37:16; Psalms 62:10; Proverbs 13:7; Proverbs 22:1-2; Proverbs 23:5; Proverbs 27:23-27; Matthew 6:19-34; Mark 4:18-19; 2 Timothy 2 (see verse 3 and 4); 1 Peter 4:16-17.

DocReits November 21, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Thank you for those Scripture references.


David November 25, 2014 at 3:41 am

Dr Williams, good article. The LORD has been speaking to me on the same topic.
I remember reading the excellent book by Richard Foster ”The Celebration of Discipline”, and I quote ”the purpose of marketing is to persuade people to buy the things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like”.
The purpose, it makes them covet, and they will want to buy that product.
Blessings. David Central Europe.

babatope joseph November 9, 2015 at 6:53 pm

please help me in your prayer.

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