But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said to him, "Why is your spirit so sullen that you eat no food?" He said to her, "Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, 'Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.' And he answered, 'I will not give you my vineyard.'" —1 Kings 21:5-6
Ahab coveted Naboth's vineyard. And because he coveted it, he allowed Jezebel to sway him. He allowed Naboth to be condemned under perjury and stoned to death…and then he stole Naboth's vineyard. Ahab's coveting led to lying, murder, and theft.
There is a vast difference between admiring and coveting. I can admire what you have. I can say, "My, that's great. That's really beautiful. I'm glad you have that." But when I start craving what you have, and I start thinking, "I wish that thing belonged to me," then I have become guilty of covetousness.
The only thing we should covet is a closer relationship with God.
The Bible tells us that covetousness is idolatry. That's because the thing you desire becomes the central focus of your heart and mind. All your waking hours are spent scheming ways to get that thing for yourself.
The Bible says we are to covet just one thing. "But covet earnestly the best gifts (of the Spirit)" (1 Corinthians 12:31 KJV). The only thing we should covet is a closer relationship with God. If you are going to crave anything at all, crave the power of God's Spirit working freely and fully in your life.
Father, create in us a heart that longs after You, that we might know the joy and contentment of living in fellowship with You. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.