Beyond the Weekend

January 26 | The Competition

January 26, 2021


You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Exodus 20:17

Read: Exodus 20:1–17
Exodus 20


The Israelites were just rescued by God from Egypt. Leaving 400 years of slavery behind, they head to the land God promises them. Before getting there, God gives them “operating principles” explaining how he wants them to live. The Israelites need to know how to live in relationship to God and each other. We call these foundational principles “The Ten Commandments.” The tenth commandment, “You shall not covet,” is unlike the rest. The previous nine commandments are about what they are supposed to do. The tenth commandment is about how they are supposed to think.

God tells us with the tenth commandment, “Be very careful what you want.” Coveting is the sin of comparison. It does not just want something. It wants something that someone else has. It’s an intense longing or desire for THAT. We think, “I have to make THAT mine.” We don’t want something like that—coveting is where we want that thing owned by someone else.

What we want looks different for each of us. It might be something out of our reach (at least in the time being). Maybe it’s something we can’t afford right now, a job we don’t have the right education or qualifications, or a vacation prevented by family circumstances. Someone else has THAT and, for a variety of reasons, we just can’t get it.


In a journal, use this template to write a prayer of confession, “Father, today I am coveting ____________. I confess I am not thinking the way you want me to think. Help me remember that what I really need is found in Jesus and all he has done for me. Thank you.”


Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.

Today’s reading is Matthew 17.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.


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