The word "covet" most famously appears in the Ten Commandments, as the ninth and tenth. "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." (Exodus 20:17) It's interesting to read that virtually all faiths have some version of the ten commandments, including these two commandments (which in some religions are combined into one). The Jewish interpretation is that "One is forbidden to desire and plan how one may obtain that which God has given to another." The Protestant faith "Enjoins contentment with our own condition, and a charitable attitude toward our neighbor and all that is his, being thankful for his sake that he has whatever is beneficial to him, as we are for those things that benefit us." It also "Forbids discontent or envy, prohibits any grief over the betterment of our neighbor's estate, and all inordinate desires to obtain for ourselves, or scheming to wrest for our benefit, anything that is his." The Mormons believe that "Coveting, or envying something that belongs to another, is damaging to the soul. It can consume our thoughts and plague us with constant unhappiness and dissatisfaction. It often leads to other sins and to financial indebtedness." The Koran states "...do not covet what we bestowed upon any other people. Such are temporary ornaments of this life, whereby we put them to the test. What your Lord provides for you is far better, and everlasting."
I'm not sure why some people seem to obsess over what others have. Keeping up with the Joneses is a foolish endeavor. We've all known people who buy a huge house in the best part of town, and then don't have the money to furnish it, or go into so much debt that they dig themselves a deeper and deeper credit hole. On the flipside, it's been my experience that those that protest the hardest about not really wanting anything are those that deep down crave it the most. Whether it's things, a home, property, education, or lifestyle in general, the more I hear "I don't need that," the more I really hear "You have that and I want it." Or worse yet, "You have that and I deserve it." It's also been my experience that when I went to church every Sunday as a kid, there were plenty of people like that there (not all, of course, but I encountered quite a few), and as the anonymous quote goes, "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car." More power to you if you have found a church that you love. But please forgive me--isn't that what true Christians do?--if I find your behavior outside of church most decidedly un-Christian.
Perhaps a better way to put it would be from the Sermon on the Mount: "...by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matthew 7:20) What kind of fruit are YOU bearing?