Ten Choices That Will Change Your Life
Week 8: Exodus 20:17
The Ten Commandments instruct God’s people how to live life to the fullest – a life that pleases God, brings blessing, and lights our world. The first four commandments relate to how we love God and the last six show us how to love our neighbor. The commandments are not a way to earn salvation. Rather, they show us how saved people ought to live. Today we turn our attention to the final commandment: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17). Coveting what others have can lead us into further sin and it robs us of the joy in life that God desires for us. Coveting is an offense related to what our eyes are focused on and our hearts desire. It is rooted in a faulty view of what is truly valuable and desirable. The antidote is gratitude – a life lived with thanksgiving for what God has blessed us with and for what God has blessed others with. Let’s choose a life of gratitude and enjoy the good life that God intends for us.
The tenth commandment gives several examples of things that God’s people are not to covet but some of the items are most relevant for a culture very different from our own. If you were going to make a similar list for the world we live in today, what things do you think would be most important to include? What things are the most common for us to covet today?
Getting into the Text:
1. (Exodus 20:17) We all have desires and not all are sinful. What is meant here by coveting? How can you tell when this commandment is being broken? What insight does this commandment give into how we should best love our neighbor?
2. (Psalm 73:25-26) This Psalm is about someone who was envious of the prosperity of the wicked (see v. 2-3) until he realized the greater and eternal value of his relationship with God. How does this passage build a bridge between the first commandment and the tenth commandment? What is the connection between our satisfaction in our relationship with God and our desires for other things? How satisfied are you with God right now?
3. (Hebrews 13:5-6) What does this passage offer as an alternative to the love of money? How do the quotations from the Old Testament relate to being content?
4. (Luke 12:13-21) What does Jesus’ warning in verse 15 say about his diagnosis of the real problem in verse 13? Who was responsible for the rich man’s wealth in the parable (v. 16)? What would be a proper response on his part? How does the parable illustrate Jesus’ main point in verse 15? How does this relate to the tenth commandment?
1. Gratitude is the antidote to coveting. What do you struggle with the most when it comes to coveting what others have? Are you able to celebrate the success and blessings of others around you? What can you give thanks for today? How might you make gratitude a bigger part of your life?
2. When Jesus saves us, he invites us to a new way of thinking about what we should desire, value, and treasure. Where are you at in the process of understanding and embracing that alternative view? Spend some time meditating on the passages above and on 1 Timothy 6:17-19. Ask God to align your values and desires with his.