CATECHESIS NOTES FOR THE NINTH AND TENTH COMMANDMENTS --"You shall not covet." -- The Ninth and Tenth Commandments both speak of covetousness. Covetousness is the desire of our hearts that insists upon having those things that God has not given to us. Many of the things that we might desire are very good things indeed. “Food, drink, clothing, shoes … a devout husband or wife, devout children,” etc. are all good things and good gifts from God. Sometimes, however, through our own sin or through the Lord’s gracious providence we are not allowed to have certain good things that we might otherwise desire and that might make life easier. Desires for good things become covetous and idolatrous whenever we won’t take no for an answer, whenever we insist that we must have this or that we must have that in order to be happy and content. At the center of the Christian faith, which trusts Christ for salvation, is learning to be satisfied with Him—with His love, with His forgiveness, with His Word, with everything that He is as our Savior and God. True contentment actually comes not from getting what we want and what we believe we must have, but from the faith that rests in Christ and is content with Him especially under the cross of suffering and affliction. When we have Christ and His love as our one thing needful, then His Word transforms our lives turning us outside of ourselves and our own desires to the sacrifices of love for others.
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Luther's Small Catechism
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