I Want It, but I Can’t Have It – Part 1

Posted on September 13, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters

“And He said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’” – Luke 12:15 (NKJV)


A few years back, my wife and daughter had gone on a mission’s trip that took them to Guatemala. The main intention of this trip was to distribute shoes to those in need who were living in the local villages that surrounded the main campus where they were staying. Both my wife and daughter weren’t expecting what they were actually walking into – they found people living in sparsely made homes, some made only from tin roofing material, no bigger than our own living room, and yet found room for a family of five. As a sidenote, my daughter’s iPhone was the main attraction amongst the younger girls she encountered.

As my wife made her way into one of these homes, she was grabbed by the mother of the home and who made it very clear that all they needed was prayer. They accepted the shoes my wife came to deliver, but when this woman took my wife’s hands and they began to pray, my wife was moved to tears. Here’s this established Christian, American woman, in another country, thinking she was doing God’s work for God’s glory and here she is being prayed for by someone who was content in the conditions in which she was living. It was a huge contrast to what my wife and daughter seen as they rode by huge plantations being guarded by men with weapons.

After their experience in Guatemala, my wife and daughter didn’t seem to want stuff as much as they had. You could say it “rocked the covetousness right outta them” and that’s what happened (Luke 12:15) on the plane ride back to the perceived land of milk and honey… to nice homes, iPhones, and name brand shoes. You could also say it left them scratching their heads wondering if it’s a contradiction that on one hand God wants us to prosper and be in good health, and then turn around and say it’s better to give it all away because accumulating stuff isn’t really the endgame in God’s Kingdom.


“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” – Deuteronomy 5:21


Secularland would want us to think the word “covet” means that we “desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably.” This would mean that we want stuff beyond a reasonable limit and that it merits condemnation, and that’s not too far off. But what it really should mean is “to take delight in beyond God’s acceptable bounds.” Now the scary part of this is that it’s covetousness that allows us to think those thoughts that would lead us to commit those actions named in the first nine commandments, especially that “You shall have no other gods before Me.” It has also been stated that if this one commandment was to be obeyed, public crime would cease. Hmm… However, given the present state of our society I don’t see them picking up what I’m putting down. So, ‘nough said there.

One of the other ugly’s in this, is that covetousness has been deliberately pumped into our everyday existence and you don’t need a television to have it happen. Our social media platforms contain all sorts of ads and pictures of stuff that looks really pleasant to the eyes, appeals to our sense of being, and says, “Look at what I’ve got.” Sometimes, it’s a simple picture of a content family that can cause folks to want someone else’s spouse because the present one just isn’t as good looking as the one in the picture. Didn’t see that coming, did you? Well, if you’ve been taught to compete with your neighbors for honor, position, and material wealth, your heart will bleed over into where you think the grass is greener, just that simple.

I might have a thing or two left to say about the 10th commandments, but that’ll take me way over my usual word count, so for today, I’ll just wrap things up. I would share with you that this is a tough commandment to keep because for me the want of better stuff as always been a struggle. But as I have gotten older, I’ve come to realize one thing about being covetous – it’s really a form of slavery and idolatry all mixed into a sin that, at one time, ate me up and spat me out. So, it has left me cautious with the use of the word “want.” I gotta watch what I want and if I can’t run it through Scripture, then maybe I shouldn’t have it, just a thought. Hopefully I sparked enough thought into you today to reconsider what you want. Amen?


Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, and a father. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at cphughes515@verizon.net.

Think About This: “Covetousness is the greatest of monsters, as well as the root of all evil.” – William Penn

The Daily Bible Reading: Ezekiel 39-40. You can download our 2023 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:  “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:11-12

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