Summary: Contentment doesn’t come from our circumstances. It comes from the heart. And that’s where the root of the problem really lies. Not in our wallets, but in our hearts.
My son, Evan, plays for the 10year old North Royalton travel team. The other day, the players received their uniforms. They are beautiful – very nice. And the hats! They are purple with a gold NR embroidered on the front. And they are fitted. Evan even has his number embroidered on the back of the hat. Wow! I never had anything like that even when I played pro ball!
Yesterday, we were supposed to play Hudson in a game. But it rained. So, we went to the cages for batting practice. After practice, the coach wanted to give me a little something for helping teach hitting. It was a hat. The same purple with gold NR on the front. I was so excited! Then I turned the hat around to look at the back. Not fitted, but adjustable. I felt my heart sink a little. I want a fitted hat, too, with something embroidered on the back! On the outside, I was happy. On the inside, I wanted what my son had!
Suddenly, it hit me. I was to teach the tenth commandment on Sunday and on Saturday God was showing me that I had a covetous heart!
Most of us can identify with these words: “I don’t have enough money. I have to stretch to pay my bills; I’m in debt; I struggle to buy the things I need. I want to get my family some nice things, but I can’t afford them. I don’t have enough money.” Sound familiar?
But a lack of money is not the problem. The problem is the difference between what we have and what we want; the problem is the gap between our resources and our requirements. Our demand exceeds our supply.
Now, that may sound like I’m just playing with words, but I’m not. This is absolutely critical. Your definition of the problem affects how you try to solve the problem.
If we think the problem is money, we’ll try to solve it by getting more money. That may help in the short run. But in the long run, it never works. We cannot successfully close the gap between what we have and what we want by getting more money. Why?
Because without a change of heart, our demand will always increase to exceed the supply. We will always want more; we will always feel like we need more. No matter what we have, it will never be enough. We will never be content.
Contentment doesn’t come from our circumstances. It comes from the heart. And that’s where the root of the problem really lies. Not in our wallets, but in our hearts.
Building a bigger heart
Series: God’s Top Ten
Do you know the 10 commandments? If someone in the mall approached you, could you quote them? For review, let’s read all ten of the commandments together.
1: You shall have no other gods before Me.
2: You shall not make for yourself and idol.
3: You shall not take the name of the Lord Your God in vain.
4: Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
5: Honor your father and your mother.
6: You shall not murder.
7: You shall not commit adultery.
8: You shall not steal.
9: You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10:You shall not covet.
Memorize this list. Use it weekly as a way to be aware of sin that you need to confess. Today, we are focusing on this tenth command. Open your Bible to Exodus 20:17, p. 56. Building a bigger heart…
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 belongs to your neighbor.
Why is God so concerned about our desires? He knows that a coveting heart often leads to the breaking of the other nine commandments. Follow this tenth command, and you’ll be better able to follow the other 9. Disobey this one, and it may lead to breaking the others. Just a few examples:
Command #1 says: You shall have no other gods before Me. Coveting says, “I want this or that.” And whatever I want more than God is my God. So my coveting has led me to break the very first command.
Command # 4 says: Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Coveting says, “I want more and I’ll work extra for it – even on the Lord’s day.” The Sabbath day becomes unholy to me. So my coveting has led me to break the fourth command.
Command #7 says: You shall not commit adultery. Coveting says, “I want that man or that woman.” And you cross a line that brings untold, long-term misery to your family and friends. My coveting has led you to break the seventh command.