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More Is Never Enough

By: Leslie Vernick

Walking through the store, I heard a young girl, about nine years old, whining loudly. She was following her mom from aisle to aisle, big crocodile tears flowing down her face. “Mom, I want it. Why won’t you buy it? Mom, pleeeease.”

As the mother went about shopping, ignoring her pleas, the daughter’s strategy escalated. Now sobbing, she howled, “Mom, I want it. I WANT IT NOW.”

The mother valiantly tried not to lose her temper. Finally, she turned to her daughter and said in a firm voice, “Stop it! You are not getting anything today. You did not behave.”

My heart sank. Although this mother may have been correct in not rewarding her daughter’s misbehavior with a special treat from the store, she missed a larger opportunity to teach her child an important truth. More things will not make you happy.

We live in a culture of “I want more” and believe “If only I had more, I would be happier.”

Even as adults, we’ve bought into this lie. Who hasn’t said to herself, “If only I had more ___________, then I’d be happy.”

If only you had more money, more time, a bigger house, a different spouse, and a newer car, then you’d feel happier. Right? Not really.

Research shows that even lottery winners don’t experience lasting happiness after their big win. No matter what we get, it will never be enough because as soon as one longing is satisfied, three more will replace it.

This little girl is growing up in a culture where we not only want more, we think we need more, must have more, and deserve more. Every television commercial reminds us that we should have more because we’re worth it.

Entitlement thinking deforms our personhood as we become more and more self-centered and self-absorbed. More diminishes our spirit and poisons the soul. Instead of feeling happy and grateful for what we do have, like the child at the store, we feel deprived. We grumble and complain because another person or God is not giving us more of what we think we need and deserve.

But more isn’t better because more never satisfies. More just fuels our hunger for more.

How do we break free from the mindset of more? The apostle Paul tells us that we must retrain our minds to think in new ways. (Romans 12:2). We have to realize that the world’s way of thinking is not only incorrect, it leads to death.

Paul shares with us a secret that he learned that helped him reject the tyranny of more. He learned how to be content in every situation (Philippians 4:11).

We too can learn this lesson, but it takes some practice. Here are two disciplines you can begin, as well as teach your children in order to learn contentment.

1. Gratitude: The Bible says, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord (Psalm 92:1). Gratitude counters our entitlement mindset and helps us appreciate the things we do have instead of constantly longing for more. On the way home from the store, this mom could have invited her daughter to think of five things she is thankful for. As she turned her attention toward her blessings, her daughter’s grumbling attitude may have changed.

Even when it’s hard to see the good in a particular situation, God calls us to give thanks in all things, even if we can’t give thanks for all things. (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Mom might have been tempted to grumble internally about her daughter’s misbehavior and immaturity, but retraining her own mind would have reminded her instead to give thanks. Although aggravating, that teachable moment was a gift from God to help her and her daughter see things in a new way. They don’t need more in order to be happy. God has given them many blessings already.

2. Practice Simplicity: When our entitlement mindset looms large, consciously turn your heart away from more and turn it toward God in praise. Praise thanks God for who he is and what he has given us. As we faithfully practice praising and thanking God, we learn to trust his character and his plan for our life even when we don’t understand or like it.

The apostle Paul learned these lessons while sitting in a prison cell. Often it is in the hardest places where we are most teachable.

In this season of Thanksgiving and holiday shopping, when you are tempted to grumble and complain or just want more, press PAUSE.

Turn your heart and mind toward all that you have and all God has done. See what a difference this small shift in the way you think makes in your daily sense of well-being. When Jesus says that he has come to give us an abundant life, he didn’t mean a more prosperous life, but a more meaningful one.

Book Giveaway


The Emotionally Destructive Marriage

by Leslie Vernick

You can’t put it into words, but something is happening to you. Your stomach churns, your heart aches, and the tension in your marriage is making you feel weary and a little crazy. The constant criticism, disrespect, cruelty, deceit, and gross indifference are eroding your confidence and breaking your spirit.

For any woman caught in an emotionally destructive marriage, Leslie Vernick offers a personalized path forward. Based on decades of counseling experience, her intensely practical, biblical advice will show you how to establish boundaries and break free from emotional abuse. Learn to:

  • identify damaging behaviors
  • gain the skills to respond wisely
  • promote healthy change
  • stay safe
  • understand when, why, and even how to leave
  • recognize that God sees and hates what is happening to you

Trying harder to be a perfect fantasy wife won’t help fix what’s wrong your marriage. Discover instead how you can initiate effective changes to stop the cycle of destruction and restore hope for the future.

Two winners will be selected in our next newsletter! (Giveaway only available to U.S. residents)

If you would like to enter to win, you can click here to provide name and email address.

The winners of “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” by Leslie Vernick are Honey S. and Belinda C.

Enter For Your Chance to Win

Do I Trust Him Again? He’s Doing Everything Right

By Leslie Vernick

Question: I recently discovered that my husband engaged in a physical affair that began six months after we got married and lasted for a year. Needless to say, I am devastated. Since the affair came to light, he has done everything “right” (ceasing contact with the affair partner, sharing passwords, going to therapy, etc.) however, I still find it extremely difficult to trust him given the length of the affair and the fact that it started so soon after we were married.

We do not have any children together. Is there any situation in which you would recommend a woman try to reconcile under these circumstances or do you think I would be better off moving on? Please respond, I am desperate for wise guidance.

Answer: I am so sorry. No woman ever wants to discover that her husband has been unfaithful and a very good liar for such a long time. Your question is valid. I cannot make your decision for you, but I think you are very wise to reconsider the character and values of the person you married. You shouldn’t find it easy to trust him again. He has not shown himself trustworthy despite seemingly doing the right things now.

Here are some things I’d like you to think through…

What People Are Saying About Leslie’s Empowered To Change Coaching Group

I'm a slow learner so the six month duration was very important to me– but more than that– half a year is long enough to get to know each other a little bit online as a group. (Or at least to go through stuff with each other…) And I really liked it that the FB page didn't shut down after our six months were over.

During the past 11 months the group has shared that FB page, it's turned into a little community we can bop in and out of when time permits. (Even the ones who dropped out seem to stop in every once in a while…) Although other ‘real time' support groups are important, there's something about an online place to go that's really helpful after being isolated for so long– especially when it requires writing in order to communicate.

E2C Participant


Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Please submit your questions by clicking here.

Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.

Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.


Leslie Vernick PO Box 5312 Sun City West, Arizona 85376 United States