I want a lot of things, including not to want so much.
It’s funny, I’ve always thought of myself as a relatively content guy. But nothing gets the “want juices” flowing like a good dose of comparison. Envy sneaks up like a blitzing linebacker on Curtis Painter’s blindside.
Last night we drove to Bloomington. My brother and sister in-law are looking at buying a new house and they wanted our opinion on a couple of places they’re considering. I’ve always admired David. He’s brilliant. A scrapper. Always trading up, buying and selling, figuring out how to get more with less. He really has a God-given gift.
And he’s busted his butt over the last 15 years to build both a vibrant church and a profitable business. My heart was full of joy and excitement as we helped them search for their next place to live.
And then the little “want monster” appeared. It starts in your gut, works it’s way up through the spine, and settles into the quiet recesses of your brain.
“Psssst…hey, Erik. You need a new house, too. Come on, you want one. You know you do.”
The whole dialog is crazy. We’ve lived in a ridiculously beautiful house for the last 11 years. Plenty of space. More than we need. More than we’ve earned. Way more than we deserve. But the allure of “what’s still out there” so easily becomes the object of our infatuation. Our wants are endless.
So is there more than one way to find contentment? I love this quote from GK Chesterton:
“There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more & more. The other is to desire less.”
Pursuing new things isn’t necessarily wrong. Sometimes it’s wise. But when our desire for more overcomes our submission to Christ, when jealousy swallows our ability to celebrate with others, it’s time to repent.
If you’re fighting discontentment, it may be time to pursue something new: wanting less.
“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” -Phillipians 4:12 NIV