Question 81: What is forbidden in the Tenth Commandment?

Answer: The Tenth Commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour, and all inordinate motions and affections to any thing that is his.

Dear Neighbor,

Are you content with all that you have, or do you look at your neighbor and envy what your neighbor has, grieving, even angry that your neighbor has such and such but you do not? The kingdom of God is not in our possessions, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 14:17) To envy and grieve what your neighbor has causes one to bite and devour ones neighbor. (Gal. 5:15) It is from covetousness that murders, adulteries, theft and lying against ones neighbor occurs.

This world is a very difficult place to live in and a great deal of bad things happen in it. Some people have a great deal and others have very little. Some people work hard and have little, and others work little and have a lot. However, do not think that this is necessarily the case with your neighbor, because it may appear that someone does not work hard but truly worked very hard to be in the place that they are now in, and their lives may not actually be what it appears to be. 

Each of us is to be concerned for the good of our neighbor, to our neighbors edification. As a follower of Jesus Christ, we must follow Christ’s example. Christ did not please himself but was reproached for the name of God and our sakes. (Rom. 15:2-3) Therefore, we are not to seek our good only, but the good of our neighbor. (1 Cor. 10:24) This means not being envious or grieving the good of our neighbor but being glad for them.

Michael Peek
Your Servant for Jesus’ Sake