This week I’m drawing our attention to the last commandment of the 10 commandments that God gave to Moses. The very 10 commandments written on tablets of stone that Moses later busted up in a fit of anger after seeing that Israel was worshiping a Golden Calf in his absence. These commandments are God’s approach to ethics, great advice for happy living and they still apply to our lives today.
Exodus 20:17King James Version (KJV)
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
I’ve highlighted commandment 10 this week because it applies to what’s been going on with me. The suggestion to compare myself to other people is definitely a way the enemy of our souls gets me distracted from walking out God’s purpose for my life. Here’s what he plants into my mind…
In all of those thoughts, I’m allowing myself to covet. I’m coveting the life focus of someone else, the career path of someone else, the spiritual presence of someone else, the organizational skills and support system of someone else.
In reading God’s commandments, I was reminded this week that the 10th one is telling me to stop doing that!
‘Covet’ in Strongs Concordance comes from the hebrew word chamad, meaning; to delight in, – desire, covet, delight, pleasant, beauty, lust, delectable things…
When I am scrutinizing my life by comparing myself to others in any way, I’m committing a form of coveting. I’m delighting in the fantasy that others have it better, do it better, their ways are better than what I’ve got going on. The consequence is I’m not enjoying my own life. I’m so busy looking over the fence at the neighbor’s tomatoes that I’m not tending to my own garden.
The truth is that it doesn’t matter what others have or how they do/experience things. My life and it’s purpose are unique in God’s Kingdom. To covet a different life is to sell God’s plan for mine short. Furthermore, every minute I spend looking over my neighbor’s fence is a minute stolen from God’s plan being walked out in my own life.
This week, as I meditate on Exodus 20:17, I am going to try and catch myself every time I’m comparing myself to anyone else for anything. I believe if I can do that, there will be great freedom and relief for me. I will be able to simply focus on what’s happening between me and God and use my energy and resources to create a stronger, more interactive relationship there.
Perhaps you can relate to some of this. If you can, I encourage you to write this scripture out. Post it on your mirror or refrigerator and catch yourself every time your thoughts start to stray over the fence. God’s plans for you are God’s plans for YOU. God’s plans for your neighbor and God’s plans for YOUR NEIGHBOR. Not you.
God is good. He LOVES each and every one of us unfailingly. He doesn’t have awesome plans for your neighbor and crappy ones for you. That isn’t His heart. Let us keep from allowing ourselves to be distracted by what’s going on with our neighbors, then, and begin to truly explore the exciting plans for our own lives this week! We will probably be pleasantly surprised by how it feels!