When I was a little girl reading those words, I found them to be very odd.
Why would I covet my friend's donkey?
No one I knew had a donkey anyways. I mean, maybe I'd covet someone's pony, but no one had a pony either.
So, what's the deal, God?
Obviously, as I grew older, I began to understand this command's relevance to my life. Honestly, though, for a long time, it really wasn't up on my list of things I struggled with. Maybe, in a way, I was too focused on myself to notice what other people had around me. I didn't covet too much because I was just concerned with me me me.
Over time, the struggle has certainly become apparent.
It started small. It was imperceptible at first. I let the sin take root because I wasn't on guard for it. It was normal to strive towards something else, right? Then suddenly, I was caught in a cacophony of wants, a web of voices clogging my brain and sapping my energy....
It's not edifying in any way.
It doesn't help me spiritually, it doesn't help my husband, and it doesn't lift up the person I covet. I am sinning against God, and against that person, when I indulge in these thoughts.
I've found that the absolute only way to combat these coveting thoughts is to pray. It's sounds so cliche--how could it possibly work, right? But it's true. Confessing might help a bit too, but sometimes confessing to that person might only make things worse. Some things they don't have to know. Maybe confess it to another friend, a family member, a significant other, etc. Sometimes signing off of Facebook helps me (no joke). But overall, I've found the only way for my insides to shift and have a different attitude is to pray for the Spirit's power to change me. Just try it. And trust. See what happens.
Friends, we have to let these things go, and the first step in doing so is naming and denouncing them. Holding on to these things will only embitter us. God has his own purpose for each one of us, and we need to "be content whatever the circumstances" (Philippians 4:11).
Guard my heart, Lord!
And let YOUR desires be MY desires.
Amen and Amen!