The more you have the more you want.
Is there ever a point you get to and say, “That’s enough”? Maybe with dinner, but when it comes to our stuff, there’s usually a desire in us to want more.
We want one more thing, widget, object, decoration, upgrade, or item. The more we get the more we want.
If you’ve been “adulting” for at least ten years, think back to when you first left your parent’s house and had to make it on your own. Back then, you probably didn’t have much. If you did, it probably wasn’t new, shiny, or nice.
Remember when you wanted and dreamed for what you’re trying to replace now?
That’s what we mean by “the more you have the more you want.”
Scripture would agree that we possess the sinful desire to always have more. But there is wisdom to help us manage this. In our passage today, Proverbs 30:7-9, we find it in the form of a prayer.
7 “Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: 8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.Proverbs 30:7-9
New International Version
This proverb forms a beautifully balanced, honest prayer. The bucket list of the wise man writing these verses is not for wealth nor fame. Instead, it’s a balance in life few of us strive for, but would benefit from.
First, he asks to be kept from falsehood. In contrast to the truth of God’s Word (Proverbs 30:5), he asks to be kept from the self-deception leading us to believe things that aren’t true. A wise person seeks to only know the truth of the Lord’s words, without the desire to water them down or change them to suit themselves.
Second, he asks for moderation of wealth. This one is really interesting to me. Most of us would ask, “Lord, make me a millionaire!”. Instead, he asks for “neither poverty nor riches”.
Excessive wealth might put the temptation into his life to deny the Lord was one who gave it to him. Poverty might lead him to go to desperate and sinful measures to have enough and the Lord would be dishonored there as well.
In his wisdom, he asks for “only my daily bread”. He asks for moderation. He asks for enough, but not too much or too little. But the reason for this moderation is the key. The author has, and encourages us to emulate, the desire to bring honor to our Lord.
Is that your desire: to bring honor to the Lord? Is your (and my) desire to have more stuff a reflection of longing to worship the Lord? Or is it a longing to just have more stuff because of ‘merica?
We’re not the first Christians to have the call of the Kingdom of God be threatened by the American Dream, but it doesn’t have to get us!
Try praying Proverbs 30:7-9 for the next several days. Allow its wisdom to penetrate your heart and shopping list. Let’s see if we can ask the Lord to help us bring Him glory with our lives.
Let’s ask Him less for more stuff and more for less of ourselves.