The Tenth Commandment
“Thou shalt not covet”
Question: What does “covet” mean?
Answer: It means to have an extremely strong desire, or wish, to possess something. Most likely it is something owned by another person. Covet is similar in meaning to other words, such as envy, desire, lust, and crave. This Commandment is unique because it forbids a
certain way of thinking, rather than a certain way of acting. This prepares us to learn that
our thinking determines our experience. The word covetousness, which means the “act of
coveting,” is used in the citations below:
“Envy, evil thinking, evil speaking, covetousness, lust, hatred, malice, are always wrong, and will break the rule of Christian Science and prevent its demonstration.” (Mis. 19)
“Self-ignorance, self-will, self-righteousness, lust, covetousness, envy, revenge, are foes to grace, peace, and progress; they must be met manfully and overcome, or they will uproot all happiness.”
Jesus warned his followers against covetousness:
“Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things
which he possesseth.” (Luke 12)
“Out of the heart . . . proceed . . . covetousness . . . these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7)
Later, Paul wrote:
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have.”
Practice: Is there something you have been coveting? Try to let it go. You can.
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(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments”
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