2011-01-30 - Does This Really Mean I
Can't Want a BMW?
The Ten Commandments ~ Part 63
Tenth Commandment ~ Part 5
There is a danger with this command, that it is taken to mean that it is
sin to desire or want anything. The issue isn't wanting something, but rather,
how much it is wanted - and to what degree one is willing to go to get it.
The operative idea here is related to "an `inordinate, ungoverned, selfish
desire.'" This issue is, again, one of the heart. We all have desires to
have things, but where do the desires come from? Are we looking to the Lord
for what we not only have, but really what we want? How often do we get things,
not because we need them, but on impulse? Do we really take our desires to
Can you think of some times when you really coveted something? Can you also
think of times when you really did want something, but you took that desire
to the Lord, and it was clear He also wanted you to have whatever it was?
As I noted earlier, we live in a culture that flourishes on the concept of
coveting. Written on a stone arch over Madison Avenue are the words, "Thou
Shalt Covet." It appears that the entire function of advertising is to cause
us to covet something, anything. We are also to go beyond coveting - but
One obvious example I can think of is children's advertising. Children really
coveted "Cabbage Patch Dolls." If their friends had them, then they must
have had them also. I think, though, that we will find that while the effect
of advertising is obvious on children, it is just as strong - though possibly
more subtle in approach - on adults.
Can you think of some advertising pieces that have had an effect on you?
Now the effect may have only been to think, "I'd sure like that," but it
may also have sent you out to obtain the item. By the way, I'm not saying
the buying was wrong, I'm just trying to identify the effectiveness of
I think you can see that I'm saying it may be all right to want a BMW. Bush,
in his commentary on Exodus, puts it this way:
"A simple, passing, evanescent, wish to possess any thing valuable or agreeable,
which we see to belong to our neighbor, is no doubt, in thousands of cases,
the mere prompting of an innate and instinctive desire, which is in itself
innocent, and probably the very same feeling which prompted our neighbor
himself innocently to procure it."
Bush, George, Exodus, Klock & Klock Christian Publishers,
Inc., Minneapolis, MN, 1981., p.284
Comments or Questions?
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