Thou Shalt Not Covet….

I have severe myopia and had an early onset of night blindness. This has impacted what I am able to do during dark hours and has made me somewhat dependent on others for driving after dark. I have been (lovingly I am sure) referred to as “Driving Miss Daisy” on numerous occasions by friends and family. This week-end, I experienced bleeding in my left eye that I had been warned about for many years. Thankfully, it was not anything serious, but it was a scare none the less. I was reminded of how precious and delicate my eye sight is.

So in praying before seeing the doctor, the Lord spoke to my heart about what I am seeing. This gift of sight can be taken for granted. I felt a certain conviction and pondered on what God was speaking to me through this episode. The words from a children’s song (the Sunday school teacher in me is not completely dormant) “Oh be careful little eyes what you see….for the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little eyes what you see”.

With the media being what it is, we can be exposed to so much garbage and negativity on a daily basis. The commercials on television use sex to sell everything from cars to hamburgers. News cameras are at deadly scenes of crime, war and natural disasters exposing us to visions that in years past we merely would get words of or in a delayed fashion where they could be edited and filtered rather than being so raw and graphic. This led me to further explore the 10th commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, or wife, or maid servant, donkey or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.” The key word here is “covet”.

The definition of “covet” is a strong desire, delight, dear, precious. These can be seen as “positive” definitions. The “negative” definition would be: a strong desire for something that I have no right to have. You see, God is not forbidding desire in general, but when it crosses to a strong desire, it is crossing the line. Genesis 2:9 describes the trees in Eden as delightful and pleasant. Genesis 3:6 describe the tree of knowledge of good and evil as desirable to the Eve even though God had told her it was off limits. Hence Eve crossed the line to covet what God had put as off limits to her.

Coveting can be seen as a “hidden sin”. It begins with seeing something you cannot have and then we want it with our heart. These wants are close to home, (hence the 10th commandment states your neighbor’s this and that….close to home) the shops on the way to work have pretty things to look at and desire, the TV commercials, offering adventure and bigger and better things. Again, the “beautiful things” themselves are not wrong; it is when we cross that line into desiring what is not to be ours. When we covet something we are trying to improve God’s plan for us.

So what can we do to “be careful little eyes what you see?” Matthew 6:33 reminds us to “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” I pray this for each of us as we continue to face a world of increasingly beautiful, easily accessible “things”. May this be an encouragement as we are bombarded by pleasant visions in our daily walk.

Alex B.

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