Do Not Covet


Idolatry- Discerning: What does coveting mean? (10th Commandment)


Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.

Exodus 20:17

You shall not covet ...


What does it mean to covet? To desire something that belongs to another. But as Grandpa points out to Liz, it can be desiring someone that belongs to another. In the Exodus 20 expands the understanding of coveting to people as well as things when it says, "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." In a way, coveting can be the root of commandments 6-9. Coveting can cause a person to murder, commit adultery, steal, and give false testimony. In each case, a person is coveting something or someone that belongs to someone else.

Paul expands on this theme in 1 Timothy 6:6-10. Here he describes what coveting can do (he calls it the "love of money" - the love of money, not money itself). Coveting (or discontent) can cause people to "fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction" and some have "wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." Not a pretty picture.

The cure for coveting is contentment. Hebrews 13:5 encourages us to be content when it says, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have." Why can we be content? "Because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." That's something we can count on. Our happiness and security lay in God's promises, not money, things, or people.


How well did you listen to the story?

Q. What video game did Liz want?
A. Ninja Star Force Three.

Q. Why did Liz stay at Spike’s house?
A. Because his parents had to go out of town to take care of his Grandpa.

Q. What did Liz like about Spike’s dad?
A. He let Spike do what he wanted, and order pizza everyday for supper.

Q. Why was Liz disappointed with Spike’s dad?
A. Because he didn't take time to talk and pray with him about his Grandpa.


This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.


Why does God tell us to be content with what we have?


Because when we are content, we are honoring God's provision for us. (See Philippians 4:11-13, Hebrews 13:5, 1 Timothy 6:6-10.) And we are bringing glory to God ().


Have you ever taken something that didn't belong to you? Maybe something that your brother or sister had, but that you wanted? If you still have it, return it with an apology.
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