Sean McDowell | December 24, 2018

All I Want for Christmas Is More

Along with my regular posts at SeanMcDowell.org, I am now featuring some of my former students in the Biola Apologetics Program. This post is by my friend Timothy Fox, who helped me with both the Awana Advocates curriculum and the updated and revised Evidence that Demands a Verdict. He also blogs at Free Thinking Ministries and you can follow him on Twitter at @TimothyDFox. Enjoy!

All I Want for Christmas Is MORE

By Timothy Fox

Every year I resolve to have the best Christmas ever, and every year I’m disappointed. It’s my own fault, though, because I set my expectations so high. I just love the season so much - the lights, the music, everything. I can’t ever get enough. So I think that more of everything is going to make this Christmas the best one ever.

And I’m not the only one. It’s truly the season of More. Kids want to receive more toys than last year. Businesses want to make more money. People want their decorations to be bigger and better than ever. We want more holly, more jolly, more rest and relaxation, more, more, More. Of course this can all be attributed to greed, to our culture obsessed with consumption and excess.

But I think there’s something deeper going on.

The Heart of the Issue

Mathematician and physicist Blaise Pascal said,

"What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? That he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself." [1]

Christmastime is a sacred season that draws on our souls, stirring a deep longing within believer and unbeliever alike. But how does our culture try to fulfill it? With stuff. More. Bigger TV. Nicer clothes. Fancier car. But none of this satisfies us, and so next Christmas (or the next day), we’re out scavenging for More.

Why Can't We Be Content?

Why can’t we be content? Why can’t we be happy with what we already have? Because we have a spiritual desire that we’re trying to fulfill with physical things. There is nothing in this world that can satisfy our deepest longings, which is what Christmas is all about. God sent us his Son to repair our broken relationship, to fill the void within every one of us. Only through Christ can our spiritual longings be satisfied.

Christmastime is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. But it can also be marred by greed, selfishness, and stress. So the next time you get that urge for More, you may dismiss it as vapid consumerism and discontentment. But the problem isn’t the desire itself; it’s how you try to satisfy that desire. Let that hunger for More remind you that there is nothing in this world that could possibly satisfy your soul. Like Jesus told the woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).

Lasting Contentment

When the Christmastime desire for More hits, let it direct you to the only thing - the only Person - that could ever satisfy your deepest spiritual needs: God with us, Immanuel.

[1] Pascal, Blaise, Pensées (Penguin Books: London, 1995), 45.

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, the National Spokesman for Summit Ministries, a best-selling author, popular speaker, and part-time high school teacher. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.