Don’t Settle for the Lesser


No one wants to “settle.” Yet, oftentimes, we find ourselves settling for “good enough” even when we might not intend to do so. A few weeks ago, I ran across an article from Relevant that asked, “Are you settling for less?” In the article, Kyle Idleman does a brilliant job of identifying the cheap substitutes we often settle for and why we keep choosing them.

Kyle explains that the first step to stop settling for less than what we were designed to be is to identify what causes us to settle in the first place. The truth is that when we are hungry—physically, emotionally, socially, and so on—we have a tendency to settle for whatever will most easily meet our hunger. Although these things might not necessarily be bad things, all of our settling fails to truly fulfill us. Therefore, the key to stop settling for less is to choose to fill ourselves with the only thing that can truly satisfy us and live a life that’s purposefully devoted to that mission. If an unsatisfied desire leads to settling, then fulfillment leads to purpose.

Choosing fulfillment

As Kyle highlights, when we settle for anything other than God and His best, it inevitably leads to disillusionment and disappointment. But the choice is always ours to choose something better. God’s divine design in all of us is proof that He has created us for great things, for more than settling for the lesser. We have to intentionally choose better over the lesser. As president of a university, I get the opportunity to interact with students who have to make this decision every day. With so many pressures and temptations, there are tons of things students can settle for. Many times, the things we settle for only create regret.

The truth is that every one of us has settled for something less than Christ at one point in time, hoping it would fulfill us. However, we all learn the lesson that when we settle for anything other than God, it inevitably leads to disillusionment and disappointment. The first step to stop settling for less and start living a purposeful life is to choose to abide in the only thing that can truly satisfy.

Living purposefully after being filled

Once you’ve made the choice to fill yourself with the only thing that satisfies, then you can start truly living. Living purposefully is like adding fresh, dry wood onto the fire and watching it burn. It takes some work, but you get to enjoy the results of that flame, warming your sense of self and having your eyes reflect each satisfying spark.

When you live purposefully, you decide:

  1. To rise above what life seems to be giving you
  2. To take more out of life by not settling for less or by stepping out to experiencing more

How do you make the choice to stop settling every day?