23 August 2006

Your Neighbor's Life

Paul writes in Colossians that covetousness is idolatry. The Old Testament is particularly critical of idol worship, dismissing it as at best silly because idols made with hands are unable to do anything for the worshipper. No matter how much the idol worshipper does for the idol, the idol is unable to do anything in return.

So it is interesting that Paul equates covetousness with idolatry. To covet suggests that you want what is someone else’s – their spouse, house, dog or car. No matter how much energy you put into wanting someone else’s life, that life won’t be able to do anything for you. In fact, it is one of the best ways to distract someone from what is great about their own life – pointing out what is better in the life of another and making one waste his time, energy, and attention thinking about getting pieces of someone else's life rather than living one's own.

No comments: