Cravings, Diligence, and Satisfaction: Getting What You Want and Wanting What You Get

“The slacker craves, yet has nothing.  But the diligent is fully satisfied.”
Proverbs 13:4

We live in a generation obsessed with desire, and in a cultural environment that has grown skilled at teasing it. Don’t believe me? Search for a product on your Internet browser or on Amazon, then open your social media page a few minutes later. It is almost as if you think it, and it shows up on your screen with a one-click “buy now” option.

There are things worth craving: time with family, a closer walk with God, occupational success, friendships that last, and more. Craving these things, and others like them, is built into the human condition. What the scars of sin have stolen from us, the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ is able to restore. But even those who have been rescued by this gospel must learn diligence in pursuit of heavenly ideals while navigating the entanglements of a fallen world.

"Even those who have been rescued by the gospel must learn diligence in pursuit of heavenly ideals while navigating the entanglements of a fallen world." Click To Tweet

The danger here is to live a life full of wanting the right things, without ever experiencing the joy of the journey toward obtaining them. “The slacker craves, yet has nothing.” Without diligent effort toward a healthy desire, a craving becomes an obsession while its obtainment never becomes a possibility. In the slacker’s case, the soul feeds on dissatisfaction and it becomes what it eats.

"In the slacker’s case, the soul feeds on dissatisfaction and it becomes what it eats." Click To Tweet

What healthy desires do you find yourself craving but never achieving?

  • a greater understanding of the Bible?
  • a closer walk with Jesus?
  • a healthier marriage/home?
  • time for rest?
  • further education?
  • weight loss?
  • financial freedom?
  • meaningful friendships?
  • efficiency at work?

Without a plan forward and diligence in execution, cravings are nothing more than unobtainable obsessions. The soul grows sick with dissatisfaction, and the heart grows cold to possibility. The slacker may live his whole life wanting something good, without ever understanding why he can never seem to lay hold of it. Half-executed plans and underwhelming results, over time, create an overall sense of unhappiness with life. The unimpressed soul adopts dissatisfaction as a way of life. The slacker slacks, and his dreams crumble. He fades into displeasure and resentment, his hope starved out by his own malnourished ambitions. Craving without diligence will ruin your soul.

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“But the diligent is fully satisfied.” I love that this proverb does not say the diligent one gets what he wants. Satisfaction is not always in the end goal itself, but in the joy of the journey toward it. When diligence rules the day, even if the object of your craving does not become your possession you have gained something of infinite value in its pursuit: diligence. Done well, diligence itself brings satisfaction.

What are the cravings of your heart? If you had to list the top three things you desire, and have desired for a long time, what would they be? How long have you desired these? Do you have a plan forward? Here is a simple 5-step process to walk away from your screen right now with a plan forward.

1. Identify one healthy goal to pursue. Often our minds are clouded by a thousand good desires. Untangle the rat’s nest of desire, and choose one thing to pursue. Pray that the Lord will give you clarity in this. Write it down.

2. Define the end goal. What will it look like when your desire has been fulfilled? Wanting a better marriage or financial freedom sounds great, but your goal needs to be quantifiable. Sit down and take the time to define what success will look like in your marriage or finances. Otherwise, you will never know if you have obtained it.

3. Create a series of next steps. That is, develop a plan. Ask others you know who have walked this same path and achieved your desired results. What steps did they take? What hurdles did they have to jump along the way? Take what you’ve learned and write out a plan forward. Without actionable steps, goals and desires are overwhelmingly useless.

4. Work the plan. No one can execute your plan but you. Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). This is the essence of diligence, and diligence is what brings satisfaction. Every day, create a sense of prayerful expectation that the Holy Spirit will bear His fruit in you and through you, to work the plan He has given you.

5. Don’t give up. Life will pull you in a million directions. Setbacks will come. Exhaustion may set in. Push through. Work hard. Don’t give up. This is the very definition of diligence.

If it comes to pass that you pursue your goal with faithfulness and tenacity but do not reach it, remember that you have lost nothing. You can only lose what which you possess. What you have lost is laziness. What you have gained is the satisfaction that comes with diligence. What you will find is that diligence itself can bring the satisfaction you heart desires.

"Diligence itself can bring the satisfaction you heart desires." Click To Tweet

What healthy craving does your heart desire?
What is your plan for obtainment?
What is your next step?

Grace and Peace,
Tony

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