Covetousness is a word that is commonly used in the Ten Commandments. The Hebrew word chamad is commonly translated to “lust” or “strong desire.” The Hebrew Bible contains numerous warnings and examples of negative consequences for lusting or coveting. Coveting is idolatry, which God strongly opposes.
The Bible says coveting is a sin because it causes us to love something other than God. When we focus our attention on anything besides God, it’s easy for us to lose sight of Him and His greatness. According to the Ten Commandments, God is jealous and doesn’t want us to have any other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3–5).
- 1 What Does Covet Mean In The Bible?
- 2 Why Is Coveting Dangerous?
- 3 How Does Coveting Affect Our Relationship?
- 4 How To Avoid Coveting?
- 5 How Do We Prevent Coveting To Take Roots In Our Lives?
- 6 Conclusion
What Does Covet Mean In The Bible?
Covet means to desire or want. It’s not bad, but it can lead to sin if we allow it to become an obsession or consume us. The word “covet” is translated from three different Greek words: epithumeo, epithumia, and pleonekteo. These words have similar meanings: they all mean to desire something that belongs to someone else.
The Holy Bible tells us that we should not covet or desire our neighbor’s house, wife, slaves, or anything else. It also warns us not to covet the things of this world.
“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 belongs to your neighbor.”— Exodus 20:17
Coveting is common among people today, and a covetous person is one of the things that God hates most (Proverbs 6:16–19). Our hearts should be set on things above rather than on the things of this earth (Colossians 3:1–2).
When you covet something, it means you want it more than anything else in the world, and you want it for yourself. Such things can lead to novel and terrible calamities. You might even imagine yourself having this thing or being with this person, but God says He wants us to be content with what we have (Philippians 4:11–14).
Why Is Coveting Dangerous?
Coveting is dangerous for many reasons. It can cause you to become consumed with envy, which leads to bitterness, hatred, and anger. If you covet something that someone else has, you will never be satisfied with what you have because there will always be something else that you think is better.
You may also be tempted to bear false witness, which could lead to stealing or other illegal actions. Some people even go so far as to take drastic measures such as murder or committing suicide when they are unable to have what they want.
Coveting can cause problems in your relationships if you constantly compare yourself with others. This can lead to resentment toward those who appear to have more than you do and can cause arguments between spouses and friends over money and possessions.
The Bible says that “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry” (Psalm 34:15). The Lord knows what you need before you ask. He knows your desires before you have a craving for something. He knows your needs before they become an issue. He knows one’s heart.
The same is true for other people. When you covet someone else’s possessions or accomplishments, you are placing yourself in a position where it becomes easy for Satan to give you what he thinks you want—but only at a cost far more significant than anything God will allow him to take from you in return. This is why the rich fall when God’s presence isn’t with them.
How Does Coveting Affect Our Relationship?
Coveting your partner’s possessions is widespread, but it can also be dangerous to a relationship. Why? Because when you covet something, you are not thinking about the other person but about what they have. And when we think of our partner’s possessions instead of theirs, it will inevitably create conflict in our relationships. You may have even committed adultery without knowing it.
Coveting affects relationships because it destroys trust and intimacy. There is nothing more critical to building a strong relationship than trust and intimacy. Without trust, you cannot commit yourself to your partner or share your feelings or thoughts with them without fear of judgment or rejection.
If you are afraid to be intimate with someone who you believe has everything they want in life, then there is no way that they can ever know you or love you for who you are deep down inside. This creates distance between partners when there should be closeness and intimacy between them, and this distance grows wider every time we look at our partner’s possessions instead of their heart and mind!
This can even lead to partners committing adultery and sexual immorality and harboring harmful desires for someone other than their partners. The only way to break the cycle of coveting is to turn our cravings into gratitude for what we already have, rather than always wanting more than what we already have!
And the thing is, God already knew all of this. He knew that we would struggle with coveting and the desire for more. He knew that it would be easier to help us focus on our own needs instead of those of others. God showed us what it means to love someone who has nothing by giving up his only son—Jesus Christ!
How To Avoid Coveting?
Coveting is defined as “to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others.” In other words, it’s when we want something that isn’t rightfully ours or when we want something so badly that we’re willing to trample on the rights of others to get it.
Coveting is a major issue because it’s at the root of many of our society’s problems—greed, envy, theft, and violence, to name a few. If we can learn to control our coveting, we can go a long way toward making the world a better place. Here are five tips to help you avoid coveting.
1. Be Content With What You Have
One of the best ways to avoid coveting is to be content with what you already have. When you’re satisfied, you’re not constantly looking around and comparing yourself to others—you’re happy with what you have and who you are.
One way to achieve contentment is to practice gratitude by keeping a gratitude journal or taking time each day to think about everything you’re thankful for.
2. Focus On God
Another way to avoid coveting is to keep your eyes focused on God. The Bible says that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). When we worry about money, it’s easy for our thoughts to turn toward greed and envy. But if we’re content with what we have, then it’s easier for us to keep our focus where it should be—on God.
3. Give Generously
One of the best antidotes for coveting is generosity. When we give generously of our time, energy, and resources, we bless others and ourselves. Generosity creates feelings of abundance instead of scarcity, and it helps us remember that there’s enough for everyone. Go ahead and give that extra $20 bill away—you’ll be glad you did!
4. Focus On Needs Instead Of Wants
We live in a society that tells us we need things that we don’t need—and this constant bombardment can lead us into a pattern of coveting something that isn’t good for us (or even necessary). To break out of this cycle, focus on your needs instead of your wants. Ask yourself if what you want will make you happy or if it’s a temporary fix that will leave you wanting more later down the road.
5. Don’t Keep Up With The Joneses (Or Anyone Else)
You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses—or anyone else, for that matter. It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself (and your stuff) to others and feeling you need what they have to be happy or prosperous.
But this kind of thinking can lead us down a dangerous road that leads nowhere but to dissatisfaction and disappointment. Instead of trying to keep up with others, focus on being true to yourself—and enjoying life as it comes!
How Do We Prevent Coveting To Take Roots In Our Lives?
Coveting starts with an attitude in our hearts. We start with discontentment and then allow that attitude to become bitterness and resentment toward others. When we allow these emotions and attitudes to take root in our hearts, we then focus on all the things we don’t have rather than on all the things God has given us.
This type of thinking can lead to all kinds of problems within relationships and with God. How do we prevent coveting from taking root in our lives? The best way is by keeping ourselves filled up with God’s Word. The Bible says that no good thing will come out of us if we don’t have our minds controlled by His Word (Psalm 1:1–3).
The next time you begin to covet something, stop and ask yourself why you feel the way you do. Is it because God has given you what He thinks is best for your life, or is it because of your selfish desires? If it’s because of selfishness, then turn away from that attitude. The Bible tells us that we need to be content with what we have (1 Timothy 6:6).
Coveting is dangerous, as it’s the tenth commandment of God. It can become an obsession and cause us to miss out on the blessings God has planned for us and rob us of our peace. Be careful what you desire because it might just come true! If you want to avoid the risk of coveting, then it’s best not to think about what other people have.
Focus on how God has blessed you and how thankful you are for that. If you desire eternal life and all of God’s blessings, you will avoid coveting and focus on God.