#10 Get Your Priorities Straight!

The Bible says to "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be
content with what you have..." (Hebrews 13:5). Nothing can ruin a
person's life faster than greed -- it can cause you to compromise your
morals, destroy your reputation, and hinder your relationship with God.

The tenth commandment is a warning against exactly that: "You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor's."

To "covet" is to desire something enviously that belongs to someone else. Coveting is a mix of greed, jealousy, and selfishness -- not a good combination! Often, coveting is the first step toward breaking other commandments.

Rather than constantly desiring what other people have, the Bible teaches us to do two things:

1. Be content with what we have.

2. Work hard if we would like to have more.

Most of the things we envy are things we don't need anyway. Whether it's someone else's house, spouse, or blouse; the brains of a co-worker, the body of a movie star, the boss's new car -- there's always something we feel like we "must" have. Why not just choose to be happy without all of that? It makes life a whole lot easier and enjoyable.

Jesus told a story about how different people respond to His message. He said some people receive it, but like plants getting choked by thorns, the worries and riches of life destroy their potential to bear fruit (Matt. 13:23). Don't let the pursuit of money, pleasure, or "the biggest and best" rob you of what actually matters in life.

"People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs" (1 Tim. 6:9-10).

Practice the Commandment: If you find jealousy or greed in your heart -- the lust for more stuff -- the best way to counter it is generosity. Giving kills greed. Instead of thinking up ways to get what you want, become a blessing to others. You'll be amazed when you discover Jesus' words to be true: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."


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