Coveting inevitably leads to discontentment, which eats away at our joy, peace, and gratitude.
It started out innocently enough. My sister and her husband were moving to a different state and I went to stay with them for a week to help them pack. As we put toys and kitchenware into cardboard boxes and taped them shut, we talked about their search for a new house. They were hoping to get a little more land, a few more bedrooms, and hardwood floors. We looked and looked at pictures of houses online. The idea of a little more space, a little cleaner closets, and a little nicer countertops sure sounded nice. And just like that a little, tiny seed was planted in my heart.
When I got home I causally mentioned that maybe it was time for us to sell our house. The very next week, my best friend announced that their house was on the market. They had found an adorable yellow house (I’ve always had a love affair with yellow houses!) with a fourth bedroom and a huge backyard. I was happy for my friend, but somehow her news dumped a bucket of water on the seed of discontentment that had just started to sprout in my heart.
My own house suddenly seemed too tiny. The walls were closing in on me. The fence needed painting. The neighbors were too rowdy. The bathrooms were too small. I needed out of there . . . and fast!
When I looked at my sister’s house prospects or my friend’s yellow house on ten acres I wanted what they had. And the plain truth is in doing so, I disobeyed God. The Old Testament refers to it as “coveting,” and it’s such serious business to God that He included it as one of the Ten Commandments:
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex. 20:17).
Coveting inevitably leads to discontentment, which—like cancer—eats away at our joy, peace, and gratitude. Check out what God’s Word says about this in 1 Timothy 6:6-7: “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.”
I’m finding that as I choose godliness with contentment (because it is a choice!), I’m even better off than I would be with a bigger house or a sprawling back yard. In fact, my sister and her husband just bought a beautiful house on a farm and I feel mostly . . . tickled pink. If my friend’s house sells and she gets to move into her yellow dream house, I will be the first to bring over a housewarming gift.
And . . . I’m remembering that I love my house! It has bright yellow walls, a cute little kitchen, and two peach trees in the backyard. It is the first home my husband and I ever bought and the place where we brought home our babies. We may not stay there forever, but my house is a blessing from God.
How about you? In what area of your life do you need to choose contentment today?