“Do not covet your neighbor’s wife or desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Deut 5:21).
I lost one of my best friends due to envy.
To covet is to envy or long for something that someone else has. This has become so “normal” it’s not only not considered a sin, but barely recognize it.
- We long for a better living situation like others
- Or a better marital situation like others
- A better job like others
- Better possessions like others that we do not yet have
I’m in that list too, and that list could be much, much longer. Envy though destroys relationships.
When I was in college I was feeling so left out by God. The wounds were raw. My friends were getting all their dreams fulfilled. Literally. One of them told me, “I’m just so fulfilled, I have all that my heart desires.”
And yet I was the only that was “left out,” “overlooked,” and did not get the desires of my heart in several areas. It was devastating as I didn’t understand.
So when I went and visited my friend who had it all–house, home, spouse, ministry, etc… that wound was made more raw. And my friend picked up on it. She didn’t tell me but it came to a head in a hurtful way. We’ve reconciled but we no longer have a relationships, although we both can honestly bless each other.
Thankfully the bitter envy in my heart is much, much better. I’m able to genuinely and sincerely celebrate the good things that have blessed my friends. But at times I still wonder why on many things. But thankfully trust in Him has matured even though I still don’t understand decades later.
Our culture is one where we always want what others have. The better car, the better house, the better marital situation, for some the better parenting situation, the better help at home, the better… You name it.
We have to guard ourselves carefully. See it. Know it. And thank God for what we have.