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February 06, 2011


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What if keeping up witht he "Joneses" is trying to keep up with your parents standard of living? What if you are young and not commanding the salary your paernts have? What if you could buy that dream house right of the bat withour the "starter" house? What if you could do this with all easy credit?

I think this was one of the many factors in the past economic down turn that alot of people paid dearly. You don't start out with a $300,000 house and have a salary that can only support a $175,000 house. Wealth is not built by spening more than you earn, yet we don't want to sacrafice or do without.

Can you sacrafice a cloths washer convience at home? Yes but it will require you to do you laundry at a laundry mat.

I think that is where the practice fast and absenance came from. Prooving to ourselves that we can go without our favorite thing even though we can afford it. I think it also makes you humble and appreciate what you have and what you can do.

To me, it kind of sounds more like, don't steal your neighbor's stuff, or perhaps to respect your neighbor as you would want your neighbor to respect you.

It does seem that a lot less 'coveting', under whatever term you'd prefer to use, would do us all some good. Certainly, a lot less 'keeping up with the Jones' and a lot more trying to live within our means wouldn't be a bad thing.

this is so true, people these days are not used to saving money - they want the newest, best looking stuff, to show off; America is too materialistic. we need to find enjoyment in other things.

Trying to keep up with your neighbors is a fool's errand. To many people have gotten into financial ruin because they needed the expensive house, car or whatever else. Just because your neighbor has the latest and greatest doesn't mean that they can afford it.

Taken from the Good News Bible Exodus 20:17

Do not desire another man's house; do not desire his wife, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns.

Taken from New International Version 2 Corinthians 10:12

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise

I think you're reading something into that verse that isn't intended. It's "don't desire your neighbor's house", not "don't desire a house like the one your neighbor has".

Keeping up with the Joneses may not be particularly smart, but I don't think it's a sin.

I really liked this analogy, I may use this in a sermon next time coveting comes up.
Matt, I'm pretty sure 'desiring a house just like the one your neighbor has' is a distinction without a difference-if you're deeply desirous of something exactly like what your neighbor has you've gone a long way down the road to coveting already, even if you're not interested in actually taking the thing away from your neighbor. You are still allowing your neighbor's success to take away from your contentment with the enough you already have, and that is the beginning of jealousy.


You haven't convinced me. The scripture in question is pretty clearly about envy, which is a sin, rather than jealousy, which is not. (though like anger, which is also not a sin, can lead to sin)

I could see the reasonableness of your position (though I still don't think I would agree with it despite that you're using words like 'exactly' to help frame the argument favorably to your position) but for the conclusion of 'wife' in the list of things not to be coveted.

In short, if you see a man sitting on a park bench canoodling with a woman, here are three possibilities:

"I want that woman"
- You're exhibiting envy, a sin

"I want a woman like that"
- Probably not a sin.

"What's my wife doing kissing that stranger?"
- You're experiencing jealousy, which is not a sin.

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