What do you crave? Power? Success? Money? Glamour? Recognition? Promotion? A larger home? A new car? Designer clothes? Delicious food?
We all have things we crave. I was reminded of this a few days ago, when I read this verse. Look what it says.
All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back. -Proverbs 21:26
When you crave material things, you will never be satisfied.
Notice the block of time it says you will crave. All day long. Why is that? It's because earthly, material things cannot provide long-term fulfillment. The temporary will never fulfill the eternal.
We see this in our children, don't we? We buy them the latest, greatest toy. They are so excited. It moves to the top of their "toys I play with list." But over time, you know what happens. They end up discarding the toy for something newer and better.
Even we, as "big kids" crave things. We crave the latest, greatest television. We buy the biggest, smartest, 4kish television. But soon a bigger, smarter, cooler television hits the market. And we gotta' have it. We crave it. So we go and buy it.
Another example is our cell phones. We buy the newest, coolest phone. But 6 months later a newer version is introduced. It is faster, has more apps, takes better pictures and has features your phone doesn't have. You crave it and so you purchase it.
We buy into the mindset that the way to happiness and fulfillment is satisfying our cravings. But it doesn't work.
Craving can't bring long-term peace and fulfillment. Notice that the verse says people crave and crave...all day long.
All day long they crave temporal things. Their mind is constantly focused on what they can get for themselves. And it simply doesn't work.
But what does bring fulfillment is giving. The verse reminds us of this. Giving is the way to true happiness and peace.
It says, "but the righteous GIVES and does not hold back."
Here's the deal. Giving > Craving. Giving is greater than craving because God wires us, as believers, to live for others instead of ourselves.
The happiest people are givers. The most unsatisfied people are cravers.
Jesus set the example for us. He left us the ultimate example of living a life of giving. You can pretty much sum up His life with this verse.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to SERVE OTHERS and to GIVE His life as a ransom for many."
This is not to say that we can't have any nice things. But what it does say is we should first and foremost be about giving to others. This is the key to true happiness and fulfillment.
Have you heard the story of William Borden? He was born into an extremely wealthy family. His father had made the fortune through mining silver and founding the Borden milk company.
Growing up, William had access to anything money could buy. If he craved it, he could buy it. But something happened that changed that. His mother began attending Moody Church in Chicago and because a Christ follower. William started going with her and soon became a Christ follower as well.
He heard the call of God to be a giver. He stepped away from being the heir of the family fortune and followed God's call to give himself as a missionary to China. On his trip to China, he fell sick and passed away. When they gathered his personal items to send back to his family, they found his Bible.
In the front of his Bible, this was written.
Let's commit ourselves to being a giver and ask God to help us live for what really matters instead of craving the temporary treasures of the world.