"Do not desire to possess anything that belongs to another person ~ not a house, a wife, a husband, a slave, an ox, a donkey, or anything else."
~Exodus 20:17 Contemporary English Version
I read these words of the tenth and final Commandment, and think, "Uh oh...". Who among us hasn't looked longlingly on someone else's life and believed, if only I had her "blankity-blank", life would be so good. I am getting better; in fact, I think I'm a recovering covetor. I love my life. It's full to the brim, and it's good. If I am going to add anything to it, I want it to be with the purest of motives. Not because so-and-so has something I want.
But let's face it. There are times when we look upon someone else's life and think, "That person is living the dream." Mine appears on the Food Network every Saturday morning. For thirty glorious minutes, I indulge myself. Although it's basically a cooking show, everything about The Pioneer Woman's life intrigues me. I love her country lifestyle ~ her home, the vast amount of land surrounding it, the barns and animals. A husband, four kids, and her bassets (my all-time favorite breed) keep this lady busy. Still, she manages to home-school, blog, and create mouth-watering meals for her family. It's the life I dreamed of having when I was a girl. But what I like best about the show is the way it inspires me.
And that is how I know I haven't crossed the line into coveting. Because coveting doesn't add to our lives. It takes away ~ our joy, our purpose, our contentment. How fitting that the last Commandment addresses this topic. If we are focused on what we are lacking, we can't enjoy what we have.
The Pioneer Woman is living the dream. But so am I. If I whisper a word of thanks each day for my many blessings and all I hold dear, I am less likely to enter the coveting mindset. It's a daily choice. Of course, there is a world of difference between a weekly television show and the people we know personally who seem to have a picture perfect life. I hope you will join me again as I continue to look at this Commandment. I've no doubt it was sent to us with intense love from a Father who wants us to live contentedly.
"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have."