The Overlooked Commandment

> “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” – Exodus 20:17
There was a popular Chinese saying when I was a kid: “人比人气死人“ which literally translates to "comparisons between people frustrates people unto death”. The logical next step, if we believe that axiom to be correct, would be to stop all comparison. But here we are. living in the midst of extreme competition. It is common to blame to the education system for its emphasis on grades, or capitalism and its emphasis on wealth, but our covetousness is more insidious than that.
We surround ourselves with an endless stream of status updates, instagram photos, youtube videos, all representing the most envy-inducing moments of our lives. Hey everyone look, my child can now do this, isn't that sweet; wow look at what the barista did with my skinny latte; just wanted to show you what a great time I'm having.
I'm guilty of all of the above.
And so we compare our humdrum lives to our social media stream, and somehow it never measures up. We imagine everyone else constantly having a whale of a time somehow compressing all the great moments shared and compositing them into a lifestyle which we think we ought to be living. It is like watching Michael Jordan's career highlights and believing that he made every shot he took, and all in spectacular fashion, failing to see the fact that Jordan missed more than 50% of the shots he took, and of those he made, the majority were quite routine. Life isn't made up of an endless string of amazing moments.
A lot of the time God works through the mundane. The stuff that isn't worth blogging about. “From dust you came, and dust you will return”. What makes the grace of our Lord truly amazing is that He placed His own nature into earthen vessels. And here we are constantly trying to plate ourselves with gold foil.
I want to stop caring what car others drive, or what restaurant they visited, or what what amazing overseas vacations they had. I want to genuinely share in their joy, whether of discovery or of bliss, and not harbour a single covetous thought in my heart.
I want to express the contentment I have in Christ, and the privilege we have to share in His death and partake in His resurrection. Oh, that it may be well with my soul, and I may need no other validation of a life well-lived, because Christ lives in me.

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