Lesson 13 | Click here to print a PDF copy of this lesson.
Do you ever wonder about the craziness of our world? On every side people scramble for power. Wealth is flaunted, while in contrast, millions live in heart-wrenching poverty! Justice is perverted by terrorists and slippery politicians. Where do these conditions come from? Why are some people so selfish and uncaring? Will things ever change for the better?
The primary cause for our ills can be summed up in one word: Selfishness. Throughout all of creation, there is nothing, except the selfish human heart, that lives only for itself. God planned that everything in His creation would be a blessing to others. But His plan first met defiance in Heaven when Lucifer entertained the desire to be above everyone else (see Isaiah 14:14).
The tenth Commandment is God’s warning against harboring an attitude of covetousness, self-seeking, looking out for number one, and the desire for selfish gain (Exodus 20:17). To fully appreciate the devastating effects of covetousness we need only contrast the two main players in the Great Controversy (the struggle between good and evil).
A. Lucifer (later known as Satan) said, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God…I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:13-14).
B. Christ, “being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7).
In reading Scripture we find a clear picture of what heaven values most. In John 13:3-17, Jesus washed His disciples feet to illustrate His plan for people to serve one another with dignity. Giving to benefit others is the bottom line of God’s kingdom. “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16). Along with salvation, God gives other blessings and gifts for us to manage and use in compassionate ways.