Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Settling for Less

settling for less
And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. James 4:3 NLT

We settled for less because we didn’t know we could have had more.

My wife and I sat across the table from a couple I’d soon help renew their wedding vows. Since we hadn’t seen them in quite some time, we enjoyed catching up on each other’s lives. Most of the conversation centered on grandchildren. Then we finalized the details of the renewal ceremony. They had been together for twenty-five years and wanted to celebrate. When the waitress stopped by, we placed our orders. My wife ordered her usual: chicken fingers.

When our meal was over, I heard the husband whisper to the waitress, “Bring me the check.” My wife and I both protested, but to no avail. Then being the comic she is, my wife quipped, “I should have ordered ribs.” Our host replied, “You should have.” We settled for less when we could have had more.

Obviously, we’re not the only ones who do that—and not just with a meal someone buys for us. James indicates that our entire lives experience paucity simply because we don’t ask God to make them any better or because our motives are tainted.

Lack of faith that God can actually deliver what we want or need will result in living without those things. God wants us to ask to demonstrate our dependence on him. He’s promised to give us those things we need to survive and do his will, but he wants us to request them, nevertheless. When we bring our prayers and supplications to him, we experience a growth spurt in our faith. He doesn’t need the info; we just need the practice. He will give us the courage to step out in faith to do whatever he instructs us to do.

Living with less also occurs when we ask for things outside God’s will. Learning the difference between wants and needs is essential if we want to receive the things we pray for. We have the ability to know God’s mind. What he wants to give us are life essentials—food, clothing, and drink—and the things we’ll need to accomplish his plan for our lives. All we have to do is ask.

Don’t settle for chicken when you can enjoy ribs.

Father, increase my faith so I won’t settle for less than you want to give me. 

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