Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Law of Love & Coveting

Recently I am sort of going through a Francis Schaeffer reading spell. In his book entitled True Spirituality he paints some wonderful insights on the first elements of the Christian walk. One that struck me in the first chapters was talk about the inward struggle with the elements of following and loving God. He says,

"When we talk of the Christian life, or true spirituality, when we talk about freedoms from the bonds of sin, we must wrestle with the inward problems of not coveting against God and men, of loving God and men, and not merely some set of externals [rules]."

He establishes that the command "Thou Shalt Not Covet" also implies thou shalt share, give, and seek the good of others (see 1 Cor. 10:13, 14). This is because each commandment taken in it's fullest sense also enjoins it's opposite. For instance "Thou Shalt Not Kill" also implies "Thou Shalt Preserve Life".

Now consider this in context of the famous love chapter (1 Cor. 13).

13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, [1] but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; [2] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends.

In essence, when we see that coveting is intrinsically tied to our confession of love for God and how we live it we find that the love chapter, which is often viewed as a flowery passage, becomes perhaps the most convicting passage in all of scripture.

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