I believe the worst four-letter-word in the English language is not any of the words you hear in songs by Eminen or your typical R-Rated (or PG-13!) movie.
My top pick for the worst four-letter-word: “more.”
It’s not so much the word itself but what the word represents. We aren’t content with what we have. We want more. More of everything. And wrapped up in the word “more” includes wanting something better than what we currently own, something newer, something that we didn’t even know we needed until our neighbor got it.
More. More. More.
And one of the things that drives our insatiable appetite for more? TV commercials. We sit down to watch our favorite program and are entertained as a result. But that entertainment comes with a high price. No not the cost of your monthly cable bill. Unless you’re watching PBS, the average 1-hour program has around 18 minutes of commercials. As you watch these ads, you are made more and more discontent with what you currently have. You feel the urge to buy whatever product comes across the screen.
You know, a Pepsi Max would really be refreshing right now. A lot better than this glass of water I’ve been drinking. I better have some Doritos to go along with it. And now that I think about it, my PT Cruiser is getting kind of old and that new Chrysler 200 looks like a pretty sweet ride…”
More. More. More.
Contrast this mindset with what the Bible teaches. I just read this yesterday in my daily focused time with God as I have been working my way through 1 Timothy: “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” (1 Timothy 6:7-8)
That is one of those verses that hits me like a sledgehammer every time I read it. Can you honestly say you would be content if all you have is a full stomach and a shirt on your back? I can’t. I bet you can’t either. Why not? Because we want more.
So what’s the antidote for the disease of more?
My answer: becoming radically generous. You see, we are typically radically generous toward ourselves. We buy a new book…even though we have a shelf full of unread ones. We buy a new outfit or two…even though we have a closet full of clothes we never wear. We upgrade to the iPhone 4…just because it’s finally available through Verizon. We book a vacation…even though we can’t really afford it.
And we do all of this on auto pilot.
But then when it comes to being radically generous toward things that would advance the Kingdom of God on earth, it’s a whole different story. We have a disease. The disease of more. And the only cure is to give.
When you give money or some of your stuff away, it breaks the power it has over you. And trust me, money and our possessions have power over all of us.
So my challenge to you this week — pray that God places on your heart a person you know who is in need, or a church, a cause, or a charity that is about advancing the Kingdom of God.
But don’t just pray. Get out your checkbook and write them a a radically generous check. The amount is between you and God. But do it. Give an amount that hurts. Be an agent of blessing to a person or an organization this week.
And as you do it, may you become “more” content with what you have.
***Join us this Sunday February 13th for our FINAL “sneak preview” service of The Eastside Vineyard Church. 6pm. Info and location at tevchurch.org