Very few things have caused more hard feelings among siblings and broken family relationships than an inheritance not being divided according to one’s satisfaction.

Someone feels cheated. They did not believe they got their share.

In Luke 12, a man appeals to Jesus asking Him to make his brother divide the inheritance with him. Like many who come to Jesus, this man wanted Jesus to solve his problem, but not change his heart.

Jesus knew that this family feud was symptomatic of a deeper problem, covetousness.

Eve coveted being like God and ate the forbidden fruit in the garden. She “saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” (Gen. 3:6, NIV)

Achan desired the spoils of war—gold, silver and nice clothes—which God had forbidden them to keep for themselves. In keeping them for himself, he caused himself and his family to be destroyed.

David coveted a woman that was not his wife and brought great calamity on him and his family and on the nation. This list goes on, because we all have been guilty.

Another word for covetousness is greed. In many ways our society encourages greed.

The last of the Ten Commandments is, “You shall not covet.” We could make the argument that when we covet, we also break the other nine commandments.

We need to hear and heed the word Jesus spoke this this man, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15, NKJV)

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.