2015-11-21 - The Tenth Commandment
How do I Deal with this Problem?
There are two issues we need to deal with here. The first is: How do I deal with covetous desires, in a society that encourages covetousness? The second is: How do I turn this commandment around, to make it something positive in my life?
As we have already seen, we are constantly bombarded with messages intended to cause us to covet that which we don't have. This is an accepted part of our society. But is it acceptable? The answer is obviously no. The question then becomes how we can deal with this pressure. Do you have any ideas?
I am not necessarily suggesting we have to turn off the TV, or cancel our subscriptions to U.S. News and World Report. But we need to become aware of the subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, effect of the constant barrage of promotional material that is pouring into our lives. We must learn to examine our reasons for consumption.
What we have is from the Lord. He gives us things because He loves us. But He also provides them so we can use them for Him. Why do we want what we want? Is it because it is a legitimate need or because someone else has it?
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:31,33).
Basically, I am saying that we have to depend on the Lord, the Holy Spirit, to help us overcome the fact we live in a consumer society. And as noted in other sessions, what is extremely important is teaching our children, our young people, to be aware of these same dangers. They need to see the dangers of a materialistic society, just as much as we do. Again, the issue isn’t things - but the attitude towards them.
The attitude towards how one handles things carries over into all areas of life. For the person who never denies himself anything, why do we expect him to stop at things. He will take his neighbor’s wife, job, or anything else he that catches his fancy. The thought is that if we don’t learn discipline in the little things we will have none in the large. This is the same idea we talked about with lying. If we lie in “little” things then why are we surprised we don’t tell the truth in more “important” matters?
The bottom line is we have to be sensitive to what the Lord wants from us in our lives. Our focus needs to be on Him We have to have control over that which we allow to be the input of our lives, by depending on the presence of the Holy Spirit within ourselves.
“… for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
To be continued.
All verses are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.