Enemy Behind the Line: CovetingMarch 11, 2010
Continuing our series on the “Enemy Behind the Line“, I wanted to spend some time on one enemy I see challenging every Christian, especially Christian Men; that of coveting.
The other day, I was driving to an appointment and found myself mesmerized by a car in the other lane. I know this sounds pretty crazy, but I went so far as to pick the color I would want this vehicle in, how it would ride, what others would think… before too long, I realized I had spent about five minutes in a dream about this vehicle. Ok, so that part was lusting for the car of my dreams, but coveting sure jumped on board quick. How so? The car of my dreams was being driven by a kid who could not have been more than 18 years old. THIS WAS A $52,000 vehicle? (Can you sense the rage?)
So what is coveting? Coveting something is to feel immoderate desire for that which is another’s. Of course we all know it is one of the Ten Commandments referenced in Exodus 20, but why is it so dangerous? Why is it considered one of the enemies behind the line? (If you have followed any of the posts in the “cartoon section” of my blog, you would most likely bet I am about to use one of the cartoon or Pixar movies as a metaphor. If you guessed this, you’re right!)
I love the movie Nemo for so many reasons. It shows so many sides of the human character, all while making you laugh at how truly “sheep-like” we all tend to be. One of the characters, or group of characters, I love to watch own the screen with just one word: “MINE!”
If you think about their behavior, you will remember how consumed they become with getting whatever it is they have their eyes fixed on. When they are trying to get Nemo and Dory, some of them fly right into the sail of a ship, but never stop saying “Mine?”
Coveting is very much like this. It is an elusive, addiction-forming drug that starts with only a drip into our spiritual blood stream. Before long, it is all we can think about or every time we see this fixation, we are consumed with envy and conspire ways we can get “it.” It could be something as simple as an outfit, or something as complex as a house in “that neighborhood.” Before too long, our flesh begins to pine for it and our mind is obsessed with “it” and will not rest until we have “it.”
We are called to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. If you strip this verse down, it is simply the first commandment. So why does coveting cause such strife not only in our minds, but our lives? This intoxicating sin replaces God from the throne of our lives and replaces Him with an “it.” In no short order, we begin to worship an idol. Not the little wooden ones, but the ones of this world, made by us: money, position, house, spouse, fame, prestige, honor, attention, and the list could go on.
Unfortunately, most of us do not realize we are coveting when we do it. We may simply wisk it to “wishful thinking.” Despite our attempts to dress it up, we have to call it what it is and pray through it. One verse I try to focus on in an attempt to keep this behavior in check is the verse from Luke 10:27, “love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.”
Think about the things in life you want most. If Christ and His will are not at the top, you are most likely looking into the eyes of one of the enemies behind the line.
If you liked this post, you might want to check out the others in this series:
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About the Writer:
Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help churches and other Christian organizations incorporate some common business practices into their ministries to enable them to better serve the Kingdom. He currently works for SourcePointe, an HR Outsourcing Agency while continuing to own and operate Christian Management Consulting as a ministry. In his free time, he also writes a lot on Church Development as a Church Consultant.
As a husband and father of three, Trent Cotton has a passion surrounding the role Christian Men are to play in their families, communities, churches and businesses. This particular blog is dedicated to helping men take back the role that we have lost in society.