Topic: The Ten Commandments: X
Series: The Simpsons
Episodes: Covercraft, Dead Putting Society, When Flanders Failed, Treehouse Of Horror XII--Ultrahouse 3000 (The Simpsons), No Toon Is An Island (Tiny Toon Adventures), Best Man For The Job (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
Lesson PDF link: Commandment 10: Thou Shalt Not Covet
Please Note: Thanks to my wife Bonnie for helping with the scripture passages we are using.
Commandment # 10: Thou Shalt Not Covet--You might be envious if...
Part A: Definition--This time when Homer speaks, you listen.
Let's play a clip from The Simpsons episode "Covercraft" followed by a clip from The Simpsons episode "Dead Putting Society"
Clip from "Covercraft":
Clip from "Dead Putting Society":
What do you see in the clips?
For some reason, Homer actually has a moment of clarity in the first clip (He defines envy well-- Lisa's surprised) and in the second clip, envy is in full display almost to the the letter of what the commandment says not to do.
The Bible, of course, will yield it's wisdom with the 10th commandment.
Exo 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's. (KJV)
Part B: Selfish Wishes--Beware, the Green-Eyed Monster, you might be envious if you have selfish wishes.
Let's look at this clip from the Simpsons episode "When Flanders Failed," a clip from the Simpsons Episode "Treehouse Of Horror XII--Ultrahouse 3000" and then a clip from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "No Toon Is An Island."
Clip from "When Flanders Failed":
Clip from "Treehouse Of Horror XII--Ultrahouse 3000":
Clip from "No Toon is an Island":
What do you see in the clips?
In our first clip, we see a very selfish wish by Homer; he doesn't like Ned very much and wants him to fail to bring him down. In the second clip, we see that this super computer wants Marge to the point of killing Homer (it is notable that in this episode, which isn't shown in the clip, that this is an attempted killing as Homer comes back). In the third clip of this section, we see that this treasure is so important that everyone has a deadly combination of greed, jealousy and yes, envy. Everyone wants the same thing and all of it, no one is willing to share, everyone is trying to guard the loot when they have it and desires the treasure selfishly when they don't. This is foolish and very dangerous.
Let's look at James 4: 1-3
Jas 4:1 Where do those fights and quarrels among you come from? They come from your selfish desires that are at war in your bodies, don't they?
Jas 4:2 You want something but do not get it, so you commit murder. You covet something but cannot obtain it, so you quarrel and fight. You do not get things because you do not ask for them!
Jas 4:3 You ask for something but do not get it because you ask for it for the wrong reason--for your own pleasure.
Jesus chimes in on the subject of this foolishness when He says this in Matthew 6: 19-24 (ISV)
Mat 6:19 "Stop storing up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moths and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.
Mat 6:20 But keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal,
Mat 6:21 because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Mat 6:22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light.
Mat 6:23 But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be full of darkness. Therefore, if the light within you has turned into darkness, how great is that darkness!"
Mat 6:24 "No one can serve two masters, because either he will hate one and love the other, or be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches!"
Part C: You might be envious if you want to win at all costs.
Let's look at yet another set of clips. These are first from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episode "Best Man For The Job" and then from the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "No Toon Is An Island."
Clip from "Best Man For The Job":
Clip from "No Toon Is An Island":
What do you see in these clips?
In the Power Rangers clip, we see that Rita has a plan for Kimberly and Tommy to be "super competive", this means that any hint of success will be envied not encouraged and they set out to destroy each other's hard work (of course, they are under a spell). Rita is obviously the Devil character here. Bitter and useless rivalry is very demonic.
In the Tiny Toons clip, which takes place before the previous one in this lesson with the actual episode, we see that everyone tries to convince Plucky that teamwork is better than being alone. As Buster says "Face it Plucky, what good is half a treasure map?"
Let's look at what the Bible says in James 3: 14-16 (ISV)
Jas 3:14 But if you have bitter jealousy and rivalry in your hearts, stop boasting and slandering the truth.
Jas 3:15 That kind of wisdom does not come from above. No, it is worldly, self-centered, and demonic.
Jas 3:16 For wherever jealousy and rivalry exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil.
Rivalry can easily breed envy, greed and then much more.
Part D: You won't be envious if you "Smell the roses".
Let's look at this clip from the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers episode "Best Man For The Job."
Clip from "Best Man For The Job":
What do you see in this clip?
In this clip, the affected rangers are told to "Smell the roses--symbols of love and friendship".
Let's look at the Biblical answer, that is to encourage or edify.
Let's look at Proverbs 27: 17, 1 Thessalonians 5: 11, and Hebrews 10: 24 (ISV)
Pro 27:17 Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens a friend's character.
1Th 5:11 So then, encourage one another and build each other up, as you are doing.
Heb 10:24 And let us continue to consider how to motivate one another to love and good deeds,
Encouragement is definitely more productive than evvy.
Part E: With unity, there is no place for envy.
Let's look at 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27 (ISV)
1Co 12:12 For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, form a single body, so it is with the Messiah.
1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit all of us--Jews and Greeks, slaves and free--were baptized into one body and were all privileged to drink from one Spirit.
1Co 12:14 For the body does not consist of only one part, but of many.
1Co 12:15 If the foot says, "Since I'm not a hand, I'm not part of the body," that does not make it any less a part of the body, does it?
1Co 12:16 And if the ear says, "Since I'm not an eye, I'm not part of the body," that does not make it any less a part of the body, does it?
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
1Co 12:18 But now God has arranged the parts, every one of them, in the body according to his plan.
1Co 12:19 Now if all of it were one part, there wouldn't be a body, would there?
1Co 12:20 So there are many parts, but one body.
1Co 12:21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you," or the head to the feet, "I don't need you."
1Co 12:22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are in fact indispensable,
1Co 12:23 and the parts of the body that we think are less honorable are treated with special honor, and we make our less attractive parts more attractive.
1Co 12:24 However, our attractive parts don't need this. But God has put the body together and has given special honor to the parts that lack it,
1Co 12:25 so that there might be no disharmony in the body, but that its parts should have the same concern for each other.
1Co 12:26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is praised, every part rejoices with it.
1Co 12:27 Now you are the Messiah's body and individual parts of it.
This scripture has been used quite often in our ministry as well as many others, why, because it is one of the richest vanes of truth about what we should and must be as true disciples of Jesus Christ. If you look at this scripture closely, you will see that one part can't do everything by itself and one part of the body shouldn't feel unimportant and therefore possibly envy another's gift. If we are all made to feel and be important by all of our teammates, then we will not be unappreciated and feel we must be someone else, be something we are not, and envy a "more powerful" gift than the ones we have. It's really that simple.
What have we learned?
Envy has no place in the Christian walk The smart way is to pray for more power in God's due timing to do the work that God has for us. We need to encourage people's success in Christ. We need to be happy for success in the life of others that is fairly gotten and help along any holy goals we see along the way. We will be better off if we all stop and smell the roses.