"The tension is good." That's the theme of this year's Catalyst Conference, and Andy Stanley's opening session talk described the tensions caused by our appetites: "Food and sex, and food and sex, and the guys in the room are saying ‘I'm sure there's more … oh, yeah, and sleep,' " deadpanned Andy, before pointing out that our appetites create an inner tension. They always want "more."
In leaders, appetites are heightened beyond normal person's, especially appetites for progress, greater responsibility, the desire to be envied, the desire to be loved and admired. No matter what we accomplish, we still want more.
All of this is a reflection of the image of God.
1. God created them, sin distorted them.
2. Appetites are never fully and finally satisfied. Ever.
3. Appetites always whisper Now and never Later.
These will always create tensions, temptations. This is part of being human, but you can't let appetites rule your life.
Andy then reflected on Genesis 25 and Esau's appetite for a bowl of stew, for which he was willing to give up his birthright with its financial benefits, its family authority, and the blessing of God. Esau gave up something of inestimable value for something that would disappear in a few minutes.
"Who would throw away their future for something as temporary as a bowl of stew?" Andy asked, before answering, "You would, if it was the right bowl of stew." Appetites are powerful.
This tension will never go away. You must reframe your appetites in the larger picture of what God wants you to be, and to do.
His closing challenge: Write down "Ten years from now …" and then jot down what do you want to see God do through you. This reframes your appetites in light of God's larger purposes.
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