Forklift Theology

Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.

I Want, I Want, I Want….?

I suppose it has been aptly said that everybody wants something. It has also been said that everybody has their price, that one thing that they will do anything for. However, is the price of getting what you want really worth the cost of getting it?

As has been noted previously in this blog, this is being written during an election year. This means we have a group of people who all want something, and they want it from the American people. Specifically, they all want to become president of the United States. To that end, they are willing to go through some pretty pathetic extremes to justify themselves, and vilify the opposition. Sadly, their supporters are even worse. As this blog is not necessarily political in nature, and I am non-partisan, I have no intent to go into the pros and cons of the candidates. However, it is worth noting that candidate and supporter have similar wants, specifically a certain candidate for president.

Is there anything wrong with wanting something? Depends. What is it? Why do you want it? Is it something that you can obtain legally? Truthfully, these questions might answer more than anything else would. However, let us look at the Ninth and Tenth Commandments, and see if perhaps we might be over-simplifying.

The Ninth Commandment.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not craftily seek to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, and obtain it by a show of [justice and] right, etc., but help and be of service to him in keeping it.

The Tenth Commandment.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is his.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not estrange, force, or entice away our neighbor’s wife, servants, or cattle, but urge them to stay and [diligently] do their duty.

The technical definition of “covet” is that of yearning to possess. OK. Is it possible to yearn for a position such as president of the United States? Yes. However, on a more practical level, it is also possible to yearn for the position of Chief Executive Office of a company. Oddly, that form of coveting is often overlooked.

Both of the commandments presented here deal with a common idea, that of taking from another that which is not lawfully your own. It matters little what it is, if it isn’t yours, you shouldn’t be trying to take it. Oddly, there are those people who seem to think otherwise, and will do anything to force others into giving them what they, themselves, refuse to work for.

What does this have to do with wanting a particular position? Not much. However, there is a point to be learned. In all my years in shipping, I have never seen anyone come into the company, fresh out of high school, and simply given the position of Chief Executive Officer, or any other position. To that end, simply trying to demand something that isn’t yours, that really is a violation of the commandments.

Oddly, there is something more.

What Does God Say of All These Commandments?

Answer.

He says thus (Exod. 20:5f): I the Lord, thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments.

What does this mean?–Answer.

God threatens to punish all that transgress these commandments. Therefore we should dread His wrath and not act contrary to these commandments. But He promises grace and every blessing to all that keep these commandments. Therefore we should also love and trust in Him, and gladly do [zealously and diligently order our whole life] according to His commandments.

Am I saying that we need to obey every one of these commandments perfectly? Nope. You can’t do that. I can’t do that, either. There was only one who can do it, and he was put to death. That one was Christ Jesus. He alone is the sinless son of God, who took our sins upon himself up on that cross, dying that we might have eternal life. Will God bless us for abiding by his commandments? I like to believe so. Will he automatically condemn us for breaking them? Accidentally? If we are repentant, probably not. If we do so willfully, well, there is that whole thing about the Lake of Fire. However, if we trust is Christ Jesus, and abide in his teaching, then we will be forgiven of our sins.

Yes. Everyone wants something. However, to want something that isn’t yours, and you have no lawful means to obtain, that is coveting. Personally, I feel that describes our current presidential cycle.

Is there anything I want? Yes. I want a cup of coffee, and I am on my way to the kitchen to get it.

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