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The Tenth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Covet

Contentment is the antidote for covetousness. Being content is the greatest form of one’s emotional wealth and can never be stolen. Are you content? Do you want to take something belonging to someone else MORE than you want to be close to God?

Receiving from God is something we do every minute of every day. Whether it’s the roof over our head, the food we eat, the air we breathe or rest at the end of a day … then to wake up to a new day. Most of these things we take for granted may assume entitlement. We don’t ask for and often times are too thoughtless to give God thanks.


With all we receive from God, how can we be so greedy to want that which is not ours more than we want Him? Sometimes a person is led to temptation, desiring (‘coveting’) something belonging to someone else. This is described in the Tenth Commandment. A commandment that legislates thought to prevent sin. As God commands, we shalt not covet ANYTHING belonging to others. Coveting is thought that may lead to evil and sinful behavior. As explained by Dennis Prager, “It is when you want -- and seek to gain possession of -- the specific house, car, or spouse that belongs to another that evil ensues. And that is what the Tenth Commandment prohibits.”

  • Old Testament Exodus 20:17 - "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's."

  • New Testament Romans 7:7 - "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."

When focusing on God’s grace and mercy by living each minute with faith and trust knowing nothing on earth compares to life in Heaven, what God’s given the saved is sufficient. The promise of eternity in Heaven is beyond compare.


In today’s song, consider your blessing as Billy Preston sings, “You Can't Beat God Giving”.

You can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how you try. And just as sure as you are living and the Lord is in heaven on high. 

The more you give, the more He give to you, but keep on giving because it’s really true that you can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how you try. 

Should we receive and never give, the Savior died that we might live. His life on Calvary, He gladly gave, our sinful souls to save. 

He gives me health, He keeps me strong, He guides me when I would go wrong, He gives me everything that I need, my ever hunger feeds. 

He gave me peace, He made me whole, and when in sin He saved my soul. And what I gave would never be compared with the blessing that I share.

For a summary perspective of understanding the Tenth Commandment, watch Dennis Prager of Prager University explain the slippery slope of coveting and why it’s wrong. Today’s song: Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving

Written by: Doris Akers