Are you coveting against God or man?

Dear Church Family,
I’ve been reading the book entitled “True Spirituality: How to Live for Jesus Moment by Moment”
by Francis Schaeffer. One point he makes in the book is that before we break any of the first
nine commandments we break the tenth commandment. The tenth command is “You shall not
covet (Exodus 20:17).”
Schaeffer writes, “Coveting is the negative side of the positive commands, ‘Thou shalt love the
Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…[And] thou shalt love
they neighbor as thyself’ (Matthew 22:37, 39). Love is internal, not external. There can be
external manifestations, but love itself will always be an internal factor. Coveting is always
internal; the external manifestation is a result. We must see that to love God with all the heart,
mind, and soul is not to covet against God; and to love man, to love our neighbor as ourselves,
is not to covet against man. When I do not love the Lord as I should, I am coveting against the
Lord. And when I do not love my neighbor as I should, I am coveting against him.”
Schaeffer asks the question, “When does proper desire become coveting?”
He goes on to say that there are two tests to see if we are coveting against God or men. The
first test is that I am to love God enough to be contented. Schaeffer writes, “A quiet disposition
and a heart giving thanks at any given moment is the real test of the extent to which we love
God at that moment.” The second test is that I am to love men enough not to envy. Schaeffer
writes, “Natural desires have become coveting against a fellow creature, one of our kind, a
fellow man, when we have a mentality that would give us secret satisfaction at his misfortune.”
Are you coveting against God or man? If so, let’s confess our sin to the Lord and ask Him to
help us to love Him and others the way He wants us to love.
In Christ,
Pastor Ron Jones