Catalyst Day One: Soul and Skills
Reflections from Andy Stanley

"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.

Displaying 1–5 of 5 comments

Amanda

October 12, 2010  9:48am

Having appetites for different things can be harmful to yourself. I understand that part. But when do you know if its too much or it will be harmful? If a bad appetite comes from a miss placed value how do we know it is a miss value? Amanda

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Joey

October 10, 2010  11:48pm

sheerahkahn: This is my first post, and I know that you are a regular. I hope I don't come across as being combative! I was at Catalyst, and Andy framed the discussion by emphasizing the meaning of the birthright. Because Esau valued his appetite more than the birthright, thus proving he did not value it in any meaningful way, he was willing to give up the very thing that would bring him long-term greatness. Andy compared this to our own propensity to value our temporary desires (read: appetites) over the long-term blessings of godliness, family, ministry, etc. Appetites that remain unchecked will reveal what is of greater value in or lives, temporary gain through succumbing to temptation or the long-term blessings that come through obedience to God in matters of faith, family, profession, etc. Joey

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sheerahkahn

October 08, 2010  1:54pm

"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." Um...hmm...I'm not sure Genesis 25 is a good example to use...it wasn't Esau's appetite that got him to trade in his birthright...it was his valuation of his birthright that got him into trouble. Esau didn't value the promises of G-d, he only valued what he could see and touch...which was his family, his traditions, his way of life. His appetite may have been the vehicle to which he made his decision, but it was his valuation of the family birthright, the promises of G-d for his family being the progenitor for a nation that he viewed with contempt, and thus valueless. It wasn't appetite, no, that was an immediate predicament. It was his contempt of the value of his birthright which preceeded the appetite that led him to make such an easy decision.

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Amanda Rizzo

October 08, 2010  11:42am

This is a very interesting perspective on temptation. Andy Stanley has the right approach to this temptation in allowing us to be able to relate and find a solution in terms that we can understand. Appetites are very powerful but our appetites are a necessity to live. If we have no appetite then that means something is wrong with our body. What is the relation between a good appetite and a bad one?

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Jim Martin

October 08, 2010  10:27am

A great message! So glad that you are posting these on Out of Ur. I heard one long-time Catalyst participant say that A. Stanley's message may have been the best that he has heard at this event. Thanks!

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