coveting your neighbor's house

Discussion in 'Fellowship Time' started by jmilly, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. I believe I really struggle with avoiding coveting what other's have.
    As I probably have mentioned in other threads, many of the people who went to my school are making six figures. I am making below minimum wage. I often have a hard time not looking at their jobs in envy, or with the feeling that I know I could do their job too. just as well if not better than they can, and i would be appreciative of getting paid that much. Often when I talk to one of them, they are complaining about something that seems really insignificant to someone who could only dream to have such a dilemma - i.e. the furniture store did not have the exact over-priced couch they were looking for and they had to find something else instead. something like that. Or complaining that the police officer pulled them over for speeding, even though they admit they were speeding, but the cop is wrong for singling out his luxury sports car. If I were lucky enough to be driving such a car, I would be obiding by the posted speed limit.... these are my thoughts

    Then I get ambitious and start applying for jobs that pay a lot of money. or start striving for that lifestyle generally. But i feel guilty - is being ambitious and wanting the wealth that we see our peers have, after seeing it, is that "coveting" what they have? I feel guilty for having hopes and daydreams about a nice apartment in new york city and going to nice restaurants and having nice things, because I feel like it's wrong. Is this an incorrect viewpoint? And I get depressed when I look at my salary and think about how my classmates are making lots of money, and being treated to a complimentary stay in the Ritz Carlton for their job orientation (not an exaggeration). I haven't even been invited to interviews in which the employer covered the cost. All of my interviews have been paid for by me (airfare, hotel, etc) out of my own already-measly pocket. I look in sorrow at my classmates who go on and on about their interviews that were paid for by the employer.

    sorry for rambling. but is it "coveting" what i'm doing? is wanting what others have, like financial security / high paying and prestigious job considered coveting? how can anybody be ambitious without coveting??

    DISCUSS!! :)
  2. "but is it "coveting" what i'm doing?"

    I think you already know the answer.
    Abdicate likes this.
  3. yes, but I asked more questions than that one. I am hoping for a more lengthy discussion.
    how does one have ambition without coveting?
  4. If your neighbour has an ox and you want an ox that's fine so long as you don't want his ox. :D I don't think you're sin is coveting your friend's jobs because you don't want their specific job but one like it maybe. You definiately are sinning with envy though which is basically jelousy. You should be happy that your friends are successful and keep material things in perspective. ie. store your treasures in Heaven.
    God is Love likes this.
  5. Proverbs 23:4 (KJV)
    Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.

    You have a deep seated belief and feeling of lack. Our salvation isn't just the change in our eternal destination, but of our lives too. You need to accept God's grace (favor) and believe it. You need to have an honest conversation with yourself and the Lord on why you believe this way. If you focus anywhere other than inside, you'll defeat the purpose. We're blessed and highly favored of the Lord, but if you don't believe that your actions will bear out that belief and self-sabotage any blessings God wants to give you. If He says "Do this" or "Do that" and if we don't trust Him then we'll miss the blessing. Focus on Him not on others.

    Proverbs 23:17 (KJV)
    Let not thine heart envy sinners: but [be thou] in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

    Speak the truth! "God Loves ME, and favors ME!" This isn't positive thinking, but positive believing - you will live by your own words!

    Proverbs 23:16 (KJV)
    Yea, my reins shall rejoice, when thy lips speak right things.
    Heart_for_Christ, jmilly, Ravindran and 2 others say Amen and like this.
  6. Excellent vereses.
    jmilly and Abdicate say Amen and like this.
  7. okay one thing, to me,
    coveting is desiring what they actually have, not desiring to have the SAME STUFF.
    if I see the neighbour has a BMW and I want a BMW, I don't want HIS BMW, I want one of my own, that's not coveting, might be greed, might be an unwise investment or a stupid waste of money.
    if I see the neighbour has a good lookin wife and I want her, that's coveting, and adultery.
    if I see the neighbour has a exclusive something that I can't get anywhere and I want His, that's coveting.
    I think this law is about stealing.
    God has chosen you as opposed to them, God has rejected the strong, the rich , the powerful, the beautiful, the things of this world
    and instead He has chosen you.
    The richest people you know who do not have Jesus have nothing,
    they are already dead,
    everything they own will become dust,
    their names will be blotted out forever,
    no one will remember them, no one will weep over them,
    they are a shadow that appears for a day and then is gone.
    Corporations and empires and monuments will all be swept away into nothing.
    Heart_for_Christ, SparkleEyes, jmilly and 1 other person say Amen and like this.
  8. I agree Thallon. This is correct
  9. Step #1 thing to realize:

    Your happiness and contentment comes from WITHIN yourself... NOT from Outside of yourself... If you allow your happiness and contentment to come from "Outside" - you will NEVER be happy... and you will always blame other people that you aren't happy....

    The reality is that OTHER PEOPLE Cannot make you happy... Your kids, your spouse, your friends, your parents, your boss... None of them can MAKE you happy.... YOU have to decide to be content....

    You have to be honest with yourself about what you REALLY want... and think hard about the price you are willing to pay...

    How do you define quality of life? Do you value time with your spouse? Do you value time with your kids?

    See... So many people define Quality as Quantity rather than Quality... You can have an absolutely wonderful, blessed life on very little.... and you can have an absolutely horrible, grasping, unhappy life on very much....
    2404 likes this.
  10. Step 2 is to think about the difference between Covetous and Stewardship...

    Being a GOOD STEWARD is about making the most of what God has given YOU... This is focusing on the blessings and resources God has already given you....

    Being Covetous is really BLAMING GOD and other people for what God has given THEM.....

    See... The one focuses on the BLESSINGS and RESOURCES you already have.... The other focuses on Blaming the other person and casting accusation on God that God is doing whatever he is doing with someone else.....

    So... Start thanking God for what you ALREADY HAVE....
    Ask God to help YOU make the MOST of what you already have.....
    and to open up the doors for you to make the most of what God has for you.

    2404 likes this.
  11. I realize this reply is a few days late, but I hadn't had time to type it until now. Please forgive me for being long-winded!

    I would like to call your attention to Colossians 3:5, which states, "Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry" (ESV). Why does Paul equate covetousness with idolatry here? It seems that, when you covet something, you are making a god (with a little g) of it. The coveted object becomes a sort of fixation, in which a person allows his or her desires to become inappropriately strong. Simply desiring something is not coveting, but a certain type of desire leads to coveting. This is why Paul specifies "sexual immorality" and "evil desire" instead of simply writing "sexuality" or "desire."

    It is noteworthy that the context of the Colossians passage emphasizes the need for believers to focus on spiritual, eternal things rather than on earthly things. Because coveting involves an inappropriately strong desire for something, I think that Paul is warning us against allowing our focus to shift onto desiring things of this world more than things of eternal value. This is not a condemnation of desiring any earthly things, merely of desiring earthly things so much that they begin to become idols.

    So, how much desire is too much? As you asked, can you be ambitious without coveting? I think the answer is related to your contentment or lack thereof. In order to covet something, you must to some extent be dissatisfied with what you already have. This is where the real problem lies. When we covet, it is as if we are telling God "thanks for nothing!" for the things He has already given us. Even when we get what we want, we can still be dissatisfied and continue coveting what others have. For example, when I was single I could have easily coveted other people's marriages. My own singleness could have caused me to become depressed as I focused on what I lacked that other people had, until the spiritual fruits of joy and peace were choked out of my life. Now, suppose I continued praying and asking God to bring me a Christian wife, until eventually I met someone and got married. You would think this would be the end of my coveting in this area, wouldn't you? But suppose that after being married for a while, I began to notice things like how "Joe's" wife keeps their house spotlessly clean while my own house is a mess, and eventually I might become disappointed with the wife that God gave me. The next thing you know, I am coveting "Joe's" wife because of how clean she keeps the house, and so on.

    The example I just described (which is fortunately fictional) shows how even getting what we want does not eliminate covetousness. In essence, we are telling God that He made a mistake when He gave us the circumstances we are in. We continue to covet, living in a never-ending state of thinking that, "I would only be happy if...," and we just keep completing that sentence with a different thing year after year.

    Are you coveting because you are ambitious? Only you really know the condition of your own heart. However, if you live a life of constant comparison with others, coupled with a feeling of disappointment about your own life, then it is likely that coveting is an issue for you. This is something that almost all of us struggle with at times.

    I have found that the best cure for coveting is to do as Paul writes in Colossians 3 (hint: this chapter would be a good reading for your devotions), and set your mind on things above. In other words, remind yourself of what you have in Christ and that this life is not all there is. Start adding the phrase, "...but I still have Christ" or "...but I still have eternal life" to the end of your thoughts. "Well, I had to pay my expenses to travel to that job interview and I didn't get the job, but I still have Christ."

    I don't want to minimize your troubles or tell you that you shouldn't even try to get a better job, but I really don't want you to live an unhappy life and struggle to experience the real peace and joy that is already available to you as a follower of Christ because you are dwelling on what is missing from your life.

    So, sure, interview for better jobs to improve your financial condition, but at the end of the day, rest in who you are and what you have in Christ. This is the best cure for coveting and lack of contentment that I have found.
    2404, jmilly and God is Love says Amen and like this.
  12. OP - 1 Tim 6 talks about money. Read the whole chapter. Read several different translations so you get the most out of it.

    Basically, if on our own, WE make the choice to pursue a live that revolves around money, we are not following God's plan for us. HOWEVER, that is not to say that if God WANTS you to be "rich" (rich is in quotes because wealth is relative) and you don't get in the way, He will make you rich. Another HOWEVER...if you are rich, God will expect much of you. You will be tested and tested again; you will be expected to spend it wisely;
    AND you will be expected to give a lot to the church (missions, organizations...etc to fund His work). You may even be asked to give MORE than the 10% that is commanded of all of us.

    There is more material in the Bible about money. I would suggest doing some studying and talking to some wise and educated Christians.

    Be content with what God gives you. Don't think for a minute that those people you are comparing yourself to are happier and more fulfilled because of their money. Money can bring a host of problems.
    jmilly likes this.
  13. This is amazing, thanks New Man 78!
  14. I totally understand you. Thanks SparkleEyes
  15. There is nothing wrong with working toward goals of a better paying job, getting a nice living space, or even having a family. These are great goals.

    Thallon is right when he mentioned wanting someone else's stuff is a problem. Another part of it is wanting those who have to not have anymore rather than being happy for them.

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