We always want more than is safe, sane, or sustainable. We demand more love. We want more stuff. Our cravings devour us because we want everything to be better, faster, and stronger. We never have as much as we need so we plot, hunt, and spill blood to get more.
But, the more we get the less satisfied we are by it. As we accumulate more stuff, our enemies increase. Those who interfere with our pursuit of happiness are recast as demons. Family and friends burden us with their parasitical needs. No matter how high we stack our money, no matter how much food we heap onto our plates, no matter how many cars sit in the driveway, we always crave more.
For example, one day, a rich Texan discovered there's no law against owning a pet tiger so he bought one. His neighbor, seeing this and not to be upstaged, bought two tigers. Now, there are more tigers in peoples' yards in Texas than there are tigers in the wild.
We don't care about right and wrong, or whether it's logical. When we want something, we will always figure out a way to justify getting it.
We want our children to have a better life than we have. We want to build better memories, better marriages, and better churches. And if we have to exploit God's Name to get it, we’ll do that. At a certain point, in pursuit of what we want, we stop noticing that God's will mirrors our wants. We end up squandering not only God's gifts but His goodwill toward us because what He's created isn't enough for us.
God makes us for each other, but we want to be alone more and more often, freed from the constraints of community. We resent our mortality so we invent ways to escape our flesh so that we can become immortal gods. We ache for someone to understand us, but reject the people God gives to us, who are instruments of his gracious fatherly love.
We are never satisfied with what we have, and we never will be. Worse yet, we are never satisfied with the people and stuff God gives to us.
That's why we are all culpable in the execution of Jesus.
We can argue about who murdered Jesus: the Jewish leaders, Pontius Pilate, the soldiers who followed his orders? But we are all guilty of the crime of deicide. Whether we stood with Adam and Eve before the tree, marched shoulder to shoulder with Joshua, stood on the roof with David, sat outside Nineveh with Jonah, stood in the road with Peter, or went with Judas under the cover of darkness, we would have chosen to betray God.
We can't do otherwise because, like them, we demand more from our gods.
We want more knowledge, more land, more wives, more justice, more control, more money in our pocket. We always want more from God and other people. That's why when God gives us a Savior who declares from the cross that "it is finished," we revolt.
Jesus' death on the cross is the ultimate privation of our need for more. The only thing that can trump our want for more is death. Death stops us, literally, dead in our tracks. God's death at our hands drives home the cruel reality that he who dies with the most toys still dies.
God's response to our demand for more is to offer us the nothingness of His death and, in the power of His resurrection, to give us everything. Through faith in Jesus, God the Father gives us all creation, the Son gives us all His works, and the Spirit gives us all His gifts of salvation.
Jesus is our "all in all." The more we demand from Christ, the more of Himself He gives to us. When we demand a glass of grace, He gives us an ocean of Gospel. When we ask for a dropper full of forgiveness, He gives us a flood of righteousness. When we ask for crumbs of love, He says, "My beloved, sit here. Don't you know? You're the guest of honor at a wedding feast that never ends."
In this grace, we're finally set free to recognize and acknowledge that all of our many, many wants are sweet nothings. Instead, in the love of Christ, we're reduced to wanting one thing from God: "He must increase; I must decrease." (John 3:30) And the good news is that when we ask for this in Jesus' Name, He always gives us what we want.