Moving from Resentment to Contentment (Exodus 20:17)
August 20, 2017 Speaker: Dr. David Silvernail Series: Movements of Grace - A series on the Ten Commandments
Topic: Sermons Passage: Exodus 20:17–20:17
Hey all, this week we’re continuing our summer series on The Ten Commandments and we’ve finally gotten to the Tenth Commandment (Don’t worry, it’s not the last sermon in the series, there’s one more that will summarize the whole series). But this is a hard one, because it’s intricately connected to all the other commandments. This is the one about “coveting”. Simply and specifically, coveting means wanting what someone else has. While most of the commandments deal with our faith or our actions, this is a commandment about our attitudes. And, like so many of the other commandments, this is one we’d just as soon skip, or forget, or redefine, or somehow make it not applicable to ourselves. This one hits close to home for almost everybody.
You can read this commandment (Exodus 20:17) and think, “well, that’s not so hard.” Really? Think about it. I mean, you may not want another person’s spouse – but maybe you think they have a better marriage than you do, and you sure want that. You may not want another person’s ox – but maybe they have a better boss, a nicer office, and make more money than you do, and you sure would like all of that. You may not want another person’s donkey – but you sure would like that SUV they drive, Sometimes it’s homes, or clothes, or a sunny personality. They have it, you want it. We covet things, and when we can’t have them, we become anxious and discontent. And discontent can breed resentment.
Biblically, the attitude that the Tenth Commandment is trying to move us to is one of contentment. And the Bible mention being content, contented, or contentment some 33 times. So it’s not an insignificant issue. It’s one of those “common to man” type of issues. We all struggle with contentment. So, how do we be faithful to what the Bible teaches when it seems so common? How do we demonstrate the relevance of this command to a watching world? And how does our obedience effect our witness to that world? Those are some big questions in a world that views coveting as part and parcel of everyday life. And it is, after all, what do you think most “marketing” is trying to do? They want you to want whatever it is that they’re selling. Most marketing today simply feeds coveting. And we can’t seem to escape it.
I hope that this commandment gets your attention. Perhaps it will make us stop and think, maybe even pray. And for the next few days, ask yourself, “What would it take for me to be content?” Your answers should be interesting. See you Sunday, Dr. Dave