Proverbs 16:26

A workers appetite works for him;
his mouth urges him on.

Our appetite motivates us to produce. Hunger will drive even the laziest of persons to work to satisfy his hunger pain. How can you get a stubborn mule to walk? Hold an apple in front of him. It is a basic principle that success is predicated on hunger. It has become a sports clich. Who will be the winner depends on who wants to win the most, who is the hungriest.

If appetite is a powerful motivator to work, then the control of ones appetite is important. The degree of the appetite and the direction of the appetite must be considered. An appetite for food is essential for getting the proper nutrients for our bodies. A person with a poor appetite is likely to be malnourished. However, too strong of an appetite can lead to overeating with the health problems it brings. Likewise, a poor appetite for what makes a comfortable and secure life can lead to poor work habits, leaving individuals and their families in poor conditions, and too great an appetite for wealth and luxury can lead to out-of-whack work practices and the breakup of relationships. Too little an appetite and too much of one each brings their share of troubles, whatever the appetite is for. We should desire the appetite expressed in Proverbs 30:7-9:

Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, Who is the Lord?
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.

In the same manner, the direction of the appetite is significant. An appetite for financial security produces one pattern of behavior; an appetite for a happy family produces another. An appetite for a comfortable life produces certain behavior, while an appetite for serving Gods kingdom yet another. For which are you hungrier a pleasant, comfortable life or a productive, meaningful life? These things are not necessarily opposed to each other, but the appetite for one over the other will determine how you live.

Likewise, your appetite for God will affect how well you know and serve him. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). If you find the taste of the Lord good, then your appetite will spur you on to know him better. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103). If that is your experience with Gods Word, then your appetite for his Word will lead you to read and study it. Try as much as you will to worship and serve God out of duty, you will never do a good job. An individual is spurred on by his appetite.

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