“God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others,” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

Here in the USA, one of our most self-destructive values is “more is always better.” Like the picnic I served on July 4, more can satisfy temporarily but debilitate in the long term.

With food, it works like this: 1) We eat junk because it’s pleasurable and convenient. 2) We feel vaguely unsatisfied. 3) We do “more is better” in the belief that extra will lead to satisfaction. 4) We repeat, never truly satisfied. 5) We become addicted to something without the power to satisfy. 6) We become nutritionally starved yet obese.

With money (or cars, or houses, or stuff), it works the same: We feel that if enough is good, then more must be better. We begin to hang our ‘satisfaction’ hat on ‘more’ rather than ‘enough.’ The situation can escalate till we become spiritually obese, starved in terms of real satisfaction yet bloated with stuff.

Instead of “more is better,” we need to find another value. It turns out that healthy is better; it turns out that generosity is better; it turns out that serving others is better; it turns out that following Jesus is more satisfying than following the dictates of a culture hurtling, fast, down the road to consuming itself.

Ergo, when one more super-sized bacon double cheeseburger — with french fries and a ‘Big-Gulp’ — fails to satisfy and leads to more; one 5-ounce fillet served with roasted asparagus and half a baked sweet potato does the job, plus nutritional value.

In other words, eating healthy is intrinsically more satisfying. And a life following Jesus — loving mercy, doing justice and walking humbly — is not only more satisfying, it’s more pleasurable too.

This is why leaning toward both health and pleasure is not incompatible, not once we understand where real satisfaction can be found.

When we cut through the faulty/deceptive messaging, it is obvious that a truly satisfying life has very little to do with ‘more,’ — and everything to do with our spiritual health.

“Bon appétit.” — DEREK

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at www.derekmaul.wordpress.com.