I’d suggest that the Ten Commandments are somewhat universal for every monotheistic religion, and have the basic tenets that make up a just and moral society.
To me, the final commandment at first seems a little out of place, yet upon further and deeper thought, it’s probably the most important one.
The commandment is essentially not to be envious of others: ‘thou shall not covet’.
All of the other commandments are actions, yet this commandment tells us to control our thoughts and our minds.
The question is: how are we expected to control our thoughts and minds, and how does this help to create the ultimate and just society?
At least for me, I don’t believe envy is about the thought; I believe it’s about the action after the thought. I’m not sure how I can be expected to control my thoughts; the question is: what can I do now and how do I deal with my thoughts?
I have often said that it’s not about the ‘why’ since I can never truly explain the ‘why’; it’s really about the ‘what now’.
Therefore, when I find myself being envious, what actions do I take to eradicate the feeling and to observe this commandment?
The first thing I do daily–and especially when I’m feeling down– is remind myself of three things: firstly, God hasn’t taken me this far just to drop me. Secondly, we are all–and therefore I am as well– created with a gift only I can offer this world. And finally, I truly don’t always see the full picture, and I need to remember that.
Don’t get me wrong, on many days I still want “stuff” and I convince myself if only I had such and such I would be happy or happier. Yet when I get honest with myself, I’m reminded that I truly have much more than everything I need. I’m truly blessed, and whatever I’m missing doesn’t serve me, otherwise I would have it.
The reason I believe our actions following an envious thought are probably the most important commandment, is that these actions can lead to the breakdown of society. If I feel envy and I don’t challenge that envy, I’m bound to steal your wife, to take from you, to treat you poorly and to treat myself poorly in return. It’s when I have faith that the man upstairs knows best and has given me everything I need to complete my task on this earth, that I can live harmoniously with myself and others.
How do you deal with envy? Furthermore, do you believe you can control your thoughts? If so, how?
This week, I suggest we be gentle on ourselves for our thoughts, and instead focus on taking the right action.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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