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A Confession

October 22, 2010

Pre-confession confession: I’ve been mulling over writing this for weeks.

Because I caught myself doing it again weeks ago, and I thought, “I need to blow this open.” When struggles are kept secret, they’re only more destructive.

And for weeks I’ve been talking myself out of it. I’ve convinced myself over and over that it’s not a big deal, and that posting it on the world-wide interwebs would only come off as a plea for pity or an arrogant fishing for compliments. In short, my pride prevented me because I was worried you’d all think I’m … proud. Which, it seems wouldn’t be inaccurate, but I digress.

So here it is: I covet.

The more I’ve been thinking about this over recent weeks, the stranger it seems that our entire society is essentially based on violating one of the Big Ten. Think about that for a minute. We have groups and parties that like to focus on fringe issues, or one specific piece of society that’s violating one specific aspect of God’s character, and those things are important. But our entire system lives or dies on how well we can stick it to commandment number ten.

“You shall not covet … anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Ex 20:17, my paraphrase)

Oxen and donkeys aren’t so much the temptations that they surely used to be, but it was never really about oxen and donkeys, was it?

Sometimes it’s about jobs. Sometimes it’s about weekends. Sometimes it’s about perceived happiness, even if that happiness is based on ignorance.

(Sometimes it’s about beauty.)

And sometimes it’s as easy as clicking on a new picture that just appeared on your Home page, and scrolling through a few after that.

Sometimes it’s hard to notice what’s happening, and sometimes it’s easy to tell yourself that feeling in your chest – that longing – is normal. Because our society has tried to make it normal.

You’re supposed to want to be one of the pretty girls.

But it’s not normal.

And it’s not harmless.

It’s one of those Big Ten for a reason, and that reason is explained in Colossians 3:5,

“… covetousness, which is idolatry.”

I am not supposed to want to be like anyone except the One in Whose image I am made.

You do not need to want to be anyone except who He created you to be.

And what does it do to the heart of a beautiful, loving, perfect God who created  each of us just the way He wanted each of us, when we long to be – even just in part – someone else? What does it do to my heart when I, essentially, set aside my adventure into discovering what He has for me and who He created me to be so that I can want something else, something less?

None of us would be happier if we got what we covet anyway.

Do you covet? Do you need to confess?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2010 9:52 pm

    I don’t like this post like I like biking or spending some time in contemplation at a deserted starbucks after midnight with a coffee and a bowl of burley; but I really, really like this post!

    I like it like I like reading Wendell Berry’s thoughts on love and war; like I like hearing Paul say, “What shall we say then, shall we go on sinning that grace may abound?”

    Yes, confession, indeed, could very well be one of the most underobserved action of the believer: for by it, we quite literally cast out some THING into the light, to be exposed by the light, and consequently to become a light in and of itself; to allow the thing in the darkness to become light and to bear the burden of having agreed with GOD :]

    And the fact that you point this particular post on it’s own head: to covetousness and, therefore, to idolatry is superb.

    Which actually is to lead into the next thought, that we do not often enough live in the habit of becoming iconoclasts.

    Do I covet? Which is a prettier way of asking, do I make for myself idols? Yes. And Oh to become a man with no need of so many things…

    • Lex permalink
      October 22, 2010 10:09 pm

      Oh, Justin. I think even implying to compare a post here to Wendell Berry has probably just done horrible things to the aforementioned pride. ;)

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