Q. What is the tenth of the Ten Commandments?
A. The tenth of the Ten Commandments is, “You shall not covet.”
While the tenth commandment is typically shortened to “you shall not covet,” that is an incomplete statement. To simply covet is not sinful; in fact, I have heard many believers say, “I covet your prayers.” To covet means, “to desire or take pleasure in.”
The tenth commandment actually states, “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 is your neighbor's."
The command is not, “don’t covet,” but rather, “don’t covet certain things.” More specifically, the command is to not desire that which is off limits to us.
In our culture, there probably isn’t a whole lot of coveting our neighbor’s ox; however, the essence of the command is that we are to be content with what the Lord has given us. Understanding that every good gift comes from above (James 1:17), we need to remember that everything we have is a gift from God, and everything we do not have (and everything our neighbor has) is also a part of God’s plan.
Instead of keeping up with the Joneses, let us be content with Jesus. After all, if we have Him, then we have more than enough.