Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house: neither shalt thou desire his
wife, nor his servant, nor his handmaid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is
I like to say this one is actually "Thou shalt not covet".
I think it's one of the most important commandments, because it gets to the root of a
great number of porblems very quickly when you understand the scope of its holographic
Covet - to desire ardently (especially something that another person has). Crave; long
for. See also: envy
Back in the late 50's and early 60's, this was referred to as "keeping up with the
This is not to say that there's anything wrong with wanting things. The appropriate
question would be, why do you want them?
I was remembering how, back when I was in my early teens, I'd think, what would I do if I
won a million dollars? A million dollars was worth a lot more back in 1969 or so. I'd make
a list of all the "toys" I could think of that I'd really want if I was
"rich", and the funny thing is, I realized that even today, my list is virtually
Even more interesting, had I ever had the chance to fill that list, I always had it in
mind to start The Family of Artists & Musicians, which would have easily grown into a
huge multimedia company. And I believe, fulfill one of the prophecies of the vision God
provided me when I was a child, one of the purposes He intended me to accomplish.
That list, what I intended to accomplish and the environment it would have placed me in
would have been everything I ever hoped for - something of a utopia, a place where the
rules would be that of the guileless in God's Kingdom, like people in the Kingdom of
Heaven, actually, where you always know the intent of people is good, and that people live
in their community truly committed to each other's well being and success, without
competition or fear or being subject to ridicule.
A place where people would do whatever they did, not being judged by their wealth or
status in a social hierarchy, but accepted and loved by their neighbors and each other so
every member of the community felt equally respected and just as important as any other
citizen, and that everything or whatever anyone did would be considered a benefit to all
as well as a pleasure.
A place where people would not covet, would not want more than they need or are willing to
work for, where people seeking a profit would not be motivated to cheat or deceive anyone
to sell more products that really aren't needed.
It's not about socialism. It's about the fact that when people have what they need and do
not live in a world that manipulates them by making them feel like outcasts for not
conforming - like getting expensive tennis shoes - and the only people who benefit are the
people who sell the shoes.
You could say that money is the root of all evil, but it's coveting that makes it so evil,
and it's coveting that makes money such an effective way to control a society.
Coveting makes economic coercion work, because if you don't have the money you can't buy
the things that, in your mind, make you feel wealthy or popular or good looking. Or
The opposite of coveting, in my estimation, is contentment.