“You shall not covet.” Ex 20:17 NKJV
Why do we keep giving in to sinful desires? For two reasons: (1) Because the new birth doesn’t automatically do away with the old nature. Like two cars approaching an intersection at the same time, your old and new natures are always on a collision course. (2) Because if you dwell on a desire long enough, yielding is only a matter of time. Ever gone to your fridge when you weren’t really hungry, but weren’t really satisfied, sort of looking for something to grab you? As bad as that is, it’s worse when you do it in life. It’s like surfing the web of behavior options, looking for something to make you happier than you are at that particular moment. When you covet something you embellish and empower it, making it more attractive and accessible. A one-night stand? You say, “Nobody will ever know.” The Bible says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal 6:7). As surely as a seed produces a harvest, your decisions will have consequences. Covetousness just maximizes the desire while minimizing the danger. It’s impossible to dwell on a desire for any length of time without rationalizing a way to get it. Like starting the countdown on the space shuttle, it’s just a matter of time before you get liftoff. So if you’re dwelling on it, set the clock; yielding is inevitable. What’s the answer? Change your focus! “Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (Ro 8:5 NKJV).