The Tenth One

“This is the one I have trouble with,” she whispered, pointing timidly to the children’s Bible resting on her lap.


The tenth one.

I know it well. 

Do not want what belongs to anyone else.

When we got home from church that morning, she went on.  “I learned a lot about it at Christmas this year, when I wanted what my cousins had.  I liked my presents; I really did.  I just wanted their things, too.  We can’t all have the same things.  Everyone gets what is best for them, and sometimes we can share or trade.”

I’m a firm believer that much of America’s problem with debt is plain and simple covetousness.

We see what other people have and we want it.  If they can have it, so can I!  And debt or no debt, I’m certainly not going to deprive my children of having what other children have.

How ridiculous are we?  When will we wake up and be content with the blessings placed before us; hand selected by the One who knows our every need and desire?

And he said to them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.

Luke 12:15

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  1. Amen! Thanks for sharing Amy.

  2. I couldn’t agree more! I have even been guilty of this myself as a parent. But we are working on getting debt free! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Why are you chastising others for ‘sins’ like debt? Whatever happened to”‘Judge not, lest ye be judged”?

    • I quickly read my post again after seeing your comment, and I stand by it. My apologies if you feel judged in any way… I do not know you. I was careful with my pronoun usage, making sure that my readers understand the collective WE. It’s not “you” or “them.” It’s us, as a society, and I still say we need to count our blessings and be grateful for what we have.

  4. What a good reminder…

  5. How precious that she understands it at such a tender age!

    What an awesome reminder to be content (and thankful) with what we have.

  6. Amy, I cannot agree more. As someone who is close to me says” I am not blessed with the same material things that another woman is “blessed” with, but I am blessed with health, love, beautiful children and happiness. I wouldn’t trade my blessings for hers in a minute. ”

    If we could stop looking at what we have vs. what we don’t have, I agree that we would be in less debt as a society. Not only less debt, but less crime, less hatred and the list continues.

    I don’t think you are judging at all, but if someone is in this situation, maybe this post will touch their heart. If not, sometimes if you cannot take the heat, you have to get out of the kitchen.

  7. The truth shall set us free. We are all guilty of covetousness.

  8. That’s right on. It made me think of the passage in James 4:
    “2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

    We can’t forget the flip side: “Ask, and you shall receive” from a Father who loves to give good gifts. 🙂

    • Yes. “Ask and you shall receive” not “Go out and buy whatever you want whenever you want with or without your own money.” 😉

  9. I saw this problem very clearly this week at gymnastics. We popped in for a few to try to catch my daughter (we don’t normally stay). In the lobby were 8 boys, ages 7-9 or so. They ALL had their DS’s and they were playing the same games and competing. It was like one big gaming party. I couldn’t believe it. I mean we have a DS and we take it places in desperate situations, but it really doesn’t get played that much. These kids were bragging about who had the most games, what type of DS they had, how many game systems they had, etc. It was truly pathetic. Even my sons commented on it without me saying anything. I just don’t get why parents can’t say no.

    • Ugh! Pathetic is right. My 5yo latched onto a friend’s DS (I guess that’s what it was… I really don’t know – HA!) at our 7yo’s bball game Saturday. The friend ran off happily to play with someone else. I thought “what a great kid” to 1) share willingly and 2) not be so attached that he couldn’t do anything else for a while. I don’t think that’s the norm…

  10. Oh, Amy… You’ve hit it on the nose. Thanks for the gentle reminder. I am SO guilty of this at times. Contentment is where I want my heart to rest.

  11. What a blessing to have a daughter who is wise beyond her years! This is such a wonderful reminder and a great way to start a monday morning; thank you :)!

  12. Amy, this is an excellent post. In dealing with this issue with my own children, I realize now that I have neglected to bring the commandments into the discussion!

    Also, I appreciate that you were talking at the macro level about our debt problems, not commenting or judging a specific person’s situation.

    • In order to judge individually, I would have to know the heart and soul and circumstances for each particular person. And I don’t. 😉 That’s not my job. 🙂

  13. Wow! That is a wise little girl! I really appreciate this post. It is very true that many want what others have but never recognize such as sin, myself included. Thank you for addressing this. I have added this article to my own blog, linking back to you, but if you would wish me not to, I will take it off. It just impacted me so much. Thank you!

  14. Great post. We’ve been talking about this kind of thing a lot, and have been working on not being so covetous (at least me – my husband isn’t really that much into ‘things’). Thanks a bunch!!!

  15. “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”” Heb 13:5-6

    What a great reminder, Amy, to fix our hope and eyes solely on Jesus instead of the things that this world values!

  16. Yes! I’m struggling with this right now, though not in terms of material things (which I’m trying to clear out) but in terms of success. Others’ situations are never as good as they seem from the outside, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting what I think they have.

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