What does covet mean?

The word ‘covet’ in the Bible represents an evil desire for someone else’s things. The tenth commandment says in Exodus 20:17, “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” To covet is to desire what someone else has to the point that you will do anything to get it, and also that you desire that the person who has it will lose it. This is why Scripture names things specifically that we should not covet. Covetousness goes against the nature of God. God loves to bless His people, not to take from them. Part of the definition of covet is “to set your heart upon” a thing. This definition clearly shows us the evil behind that kind of desire. As Christians, we are never to have our hearts set toward the gaining of possessions. We are to have our hearts set on the Lord. Jesus’ greatest commandment was that we “...love the Lord your God with all your heart...” (Matthew 22:37). To put anything before the Lord God is idolatry. Covetousness leads to idolatry. Therefore, when we covet, we are breaking at least two of the Ten Commandments. This is what Satan did before his fall. He coveted the glory that God was receiving and wanted it for himself. So, he plotted with other angels against God to get His glory, which led to God casting them out of Heaven because of their sin. Therefore, when we choose to covet, we choose to mimic our enemy. However, when we choose to lovingly give to others, we mimic the Lord God.