Serve God, Not Mammon: Addiction Recovery From Wanting More

Society has conditioned us to want more — riches, houses, cars, followers — we can't get enough. It's not wrong to be ambitious, but addiction to ambition will lead you down a dangerous path. Addiction recovery means understanding that God is more than enough. 

As a Christian, you may think you're immune to this addiction since you have a relationship with God. But you're more susceptible than you think. Think about the belongings you've accumulated, how much more you want to earn, how you compare yourself to others.

In this episode, we talk about how an addiction to more can distract us from serving God. Having a relationship with God is not a single decision but a continuous process — you need to keep choosing Him no matter what. We also talk about practical ways you can practice addiction recovery, refocus your attention, and resist the temptation of serving mammon: the representation of the world and materialism.

Listen to the full episode if you want to strengthen your relationship with God and resist the hold of addiction to more. 

3 Reasons to Listen:

  1. Understand what an addiction to more is and why it harms our relationship with God. 
  2. Learn why we can't serve God and our addiction to more simultaneously. 
  3. Discover practical ways toward addiction recovery: keep your focus on God and two mindset changes.


Episode Highlights

[02:00] Why We Need to Talk About Addiction

  • This episode was inspired by a conversation with Mark Whitacre in a previous episode, where both Tim and Mark realized they had an addiction to more. 
  • Tim also realized his upcoming novel has an underlying theme of addiction. 
  • We may think that we're blessed with all kinds of growth without realizing we're becoming addicted to getting more. 
  • Some people will want to experience as much as possible when they believe life on Earth is all there is. 
  • As Christians, we need to remember that life on Earth is short, and Heaven is eternal.

[11:36] What Is an Addiction to More? 

  • Many Christians claim to serve God and His Kingdom, but their actions do not reflect their words.
  • Most people think addiction means substance abuse, sex, pleasure, and alcohol. They typically have a negative connotation and are something hard to control. 
  • However, society applauds and even rewards addiction to more and material gain. Growth is good, but addiction to it can be dangerous. 
  • We've learned to accept the addiction to more.
  • When we become focused on more, it’s really about God not being enough.
[15:18] “I was a spiritual Christian. Yet, I was looking for bigger houses and more business. I would wake up every morning thinking about more and more and more, and thinking that that's what I was designed and created for. I do think that growth is a good thing, but addiction to growth is not necessarily a good thing.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[17:50] How Addiction Harms Our Relationship With God 

  • For Christians, our relationship with God should be our priority. 
  • If we believe that we need more, we won't think God is enough, and we won't trust Him. 
  • This attitude may lead to you wanting to be a god and chase things for yourself. 

[19:25] Addiction to Success 

  • Tim shares a synopsis of his upcoming book in the full episode. 
  • The novel is about a man going on a journey to redefine success and find addiction recovery from his need to acquire more.
  • Stay tuned for the novel’s release on May 17! 

[22:36] The Addiction to More Is Not New 

  • The addiction to more is not exclusive to the current times. 
  • The Bible describes how people back then defined "more" on their terms rather than through God.
  • The Israelites were freed from Egypt to go to their Promised Land. Even though God's plan was clear, they complained and wanted more comfort on their terms. 
  • Addiction recovery requires that we be satisfied with God alone. 

[26:37] Why We Can’t Serve God and Be Addicted 

  • In Philippians 4:10-14, Paul talks about being content with whatever he has, be it little or much. 
  • In Matthew 6:24, Jesus reminds us that we cannot volunteer for two masters. We will naturally hate one and love the other; you cannot serve God and mammon. 
  • Mammon is the god of materialism; we may interpret it as money and riches. Materialism is the desire and craving for more. 
  • We live in a world that drives us to want more. 
  • In the full episode, Tim shares how his family was forced to sell their belongings when his business was failing. He realized how much stuff he accumulated over the years.
[33:37] “You cannot serve God and the addiction to more, it's only one or the other.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[38:26] Who Do You Serve? 

  • We need to be honest about who we are really serving. 
  • Serving mammon is destructive and leads to death. 
  • Tim was able to turn from his path of addiction only because of the financial collapse in the US. 
[41:04] “How do we obey God and not mammon? How do we know we're doing it? How do we stay on track? How do we not slip and go from one to the other? I don't believe it's just a decision. I believe it's a process. I believe it's something that we have to be doing on a regular basis.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[40:35] Addiction Recovery: How Do We Obey God? 

  • Serving God is not a single decision but a process. 
  • Be mindful of your tendency to chase after more. 
  • Have the people around you call you out on this behavior. 
  • Consistently check yourself. Remember to seek God and His Kingdom first.
  • Practice delayed gratification. If there's something you want, take some time to evaluate if you need it. 
[46:59] “We really need to think in terms of being a steward more than an owner. Because if we really do that, then we will look at all the things that we have been blessed with and consider them gifts that we steward over and take care of, not that we own.” - Click Here to Tweet This

[45:56] Two Mindsets to Adopt for Addiction Recovery

  • Society teaches us to own things. However, God teaches us to have the mindset of a steward, not an owner. 
  • When we adopt the mindset of a steward, everything becomes a blessing. 
  • We need to take care of the things we have. When we're done, we give them back. 
  • When we are addicted to more, it’s easy to be dissatisfied and ungrateful. Learn to be grateful for what you have. 
  • Remember that addiction to more is insatiable. 
[49:10] “When we show gratitude, then we are acknowledging the gift that God has given us. And it really prevents us from having that well up inside of us that we just want more and more and more.” - Click Here to Tweet This

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About the Podcast

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Seek Go Create
Redefine Success in Leadership, Business & Ministry

About your host

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Tim Winders

Tim Winders is a strategic coach, author, and host of SeekGoCreate, a podcast, and YouTube interview show. He has worked in the areas of leadership, business, and ministry for almost 40 years. Tim was the guy that looked like he had it all: the big house in a Country Club resort, two businesses valued at over a million dollars each, plus over $15 million in real estate. But, in 2008, the real estate markets crashed. After a slow and painful erosion of his companies, he and his wife were bankrupt and homeless living out of their Honda van by 2013.

Fast forward to today. Tim and his wife are still homeless, but they consider themselves essential nomads. They live, travel, and work in their 39-foot motorhome while enjoying the best locations North America has to offer. Through this journey, he is convinced that we must redefine success in order to live our best life. This topic is what he has explored with his guests on the SeekGoCreate podcast since 2019.