166: I want more. Is that OK? [Podcast]

I want more. Is that OK?

It is OK to want more. Really. I will tell you why in a minute.

But the statement I keep hearing is “I want more” 

I want more out of my job.

I want more out of my career.

I want more out of my degree.

I want more out of my life.

We all get restless at times and feel like everything is moving but yet not much is happening. We feel like it might not matter anymore. Like we have no place to go. Like we have used up all of our mental energy in what we are doing, and there is nothing more to do. 

Then we might say “I want more” 

I want more. Is that OK? (podcast outline)

In a recent post by Marie Forleo, she showed a sign in a window saying “I want more.” While many of her followers related to the statement, some stated that is was not OK to want more. Ideas like

  • You need to be content with what you have.
  • If you get more, others will have less. 
  • If you are already wealthy (define wealthy) you should stop wanting more because you are taking from me. 

But, all of this is part of scarcity thinking, This doesn’t make sense. 

Scarcity vs Abundance Thinking

Contentment and Thankfulness vs Wanting More

Many of us, especially Christians,  struggle with thinking that we are doing something wrong by wanting more. The idea of being content with what we have is all we need. 

When I was looking to start a new business, I felt guilty. I went to my pastor to get help. I knew I was about to get a flogging for my greed in wanting to start a business – so I just laid it on the line. 

I told him, “ I just feel guilty wanting to do this instead of just giving all I have away.” 

But I was shocked by his answer. Basically he told me this:

  • Yes, we should always be content and thankful for all we have.
  • Yet, we are not created to sit around and just be thankful. After all, we are using resources while we sit. Money, food, water, etc. 
  • We were created with a purpose – do subdue the earth. At one time that was planting and taking on the animals – today it is even more. We are still working to subdue the earth. We are the stewards. 
  • Ministries are funded by faithful men and women who make money and want to use some of that money to grow the kingdom. “Are they wrong?” he asked.
  • Was King David wrong to want to build the temple and gather wealth resources to do that? Where did all the wealth come from? 
  • So is money the key to contentment? Is it even related? Certainly, money is not the key to contentment. I know many wealthy people who are miserable and poor who are very content.  Money is not the key. In fact, the LOVE OF MONEY is stated as sin. So while having more money is OK, being in Love with money (putting it above everything else) is sin. Money is a tool. We are not to be in love with money more than we are to be in love with our dishwasher. (OK right after a big party, we might find a lot of love in that dishwasher;) 

But not all people who say “I want more” actually mean money. Are they discontent? Would wanting a stronger relationship with Christ be discontentment? Of course not. 

Would wanting more meaning at work, feeling like we understood where we work connected to our faith and could see the impact be discontentment? Maybe. Maybe we are just to show up and do our job and be silent and happy. 

But while this sounds nice, I struggle with it. What about “I will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4) Certainly we should desire Christ more and be Christ-focused, but what if God puts on your heart a desire to serve him by doing, well, anything? A mission. A business that will impact the lives of many people? Anything. 

While we certainly have to check our motives, I just do not see how many who have had a tremendous impact on the kingdom could have done so without thinking there was more. 

Billy Graham wrote 10 Guidelines for Christian Living. Oddly, none of them are about a lack of desire to do or have more. 

What to Consider When You Want More

  1. Are you being reasonable?
  2. Did you just have bad food? or Is this a fleeting thought
  3. What kind of risks can you take? 

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