Are you settling for less than God’s best for your life? I grew up in a modest home. My parents did the best they could with what they had and I’m thankful, but it was obvious we had less than most.
I was reminded of my lack on a daily basis at school. Most of my classmates lived in big houses and had pretty clothes. I was always embarrassed by my hand-me-down clothes and self-inflicted haircuts.
As I got older, I would dream of finding the man of my dreams and having all of the material possessions I wanted. But the harder I tried to satisfy this desire, the more disappointed I became. And before I knew it, I turned into a settler. I settled on jobs I didn’t love, relationships that weren’t that great (or sometimes even downright horrible), and dreams that I all but gave up on. I accepted less than what I wanted in fear of losing what little I had.
I see it time and time again—women just like I once was, desiring and dreaming big only to accept second, or even third, best as a way of protecting themselves from seeing their high hopes fall flat. They settle in relationships, jobs, friends, even their own potential.
As Christians we understand the difference between good and evil. But the most frequent battle is not between good and bad—it’s between good and great.
Good is all around us. Great, you need to reach for. Good takes little effort and has almost an immediate payoff. Regardless of how often you try to settle for good, the desire for great likely still burns in your soul.
I spent many years of my life settling for less and living in disappointment. When I decided that I wanted more, I applied these four principles. May they also help you stop settling for less than God’s best.
- Get your hopes up. You’ve likely heard the saying, “If you don’t get your hopes up you’ll never be disappointed.” While this may be true according to logic, it kills the dreamer in you. When you allow your hopes to get built up, you will be surprised at how much more creative you will become in your quest to achieve. Will you get disappointed sometimes? Yes, but likely no more than you were before you got your hopes up. Our God can do infinitely more than you can even imagine (Eph 3:20). So think about it, if you can already imagine it, it’s small potatoes for God. He can and will do so much more.
- Stop using the word “just.” “I just want a little house to call my own.” “If he would just hug me sometimes.” Or my favorite, “God, if you will just answer this one prayer.” Let’s face it, all of those “justs” are justifications for settling. If you truly want more than a little house, a few hugs, or this one prayer answered, reach for more than just “just.”
- Refrain from making excuses. Settlers will find every excuse to not venture out into the unknown and reach for the great. I know, I did it for a long time; “I don’t have enough money,” “I don’t have enough support,” or “I’ve tried already and failed.” But none of these statements line up with the Word of God. If God says He will supply all of your needs (Phil 4:6), then money is not a valid excuse. If God says He will never leave you (Deut 31:6), then a lack of support is not a valid excuse. If God says that He will give you a hope and a future (Jer 29:11), then giving up is no excuse.
- Don’t complain about what you don’t have. Instead of applying all that energy to complaining about what you don’t have, channel it toward your desires. It doesn’t have to be a big step; it just has to be in the direction of your goals.
Once you stop settling for less, you will move toward your desires instead running away from them. You will reach for more instead of letting fear stop you. You will appreciate the waiting for more, instead of rushing to get what little you can.
When I reflect upon the young lady I once was, I find it hard to believe I settled so often for so little. There was so much more that God longed to do in me and through me. My prayer for you is that you will step out in faith and begin to put your trust in
God. He longs to give you the desires of your heart. He can do exceedingly, abundantly, above what you could ask, hope or think (Ephesians 3:20). When you stop habitually settling for less, He will get to work in your life and help you find the great.