Searching For A Satisfied Life
Are you satisfied? This question is frequently pondered upon. A constant state of dissatisfaction is frequently revealed through selfishness that has a tendency to define our lives. The latest and greatest tablet, fancier car, bigger house, and, oh yeah, that white picket fence. It’s the American Dream!
A persistent desire for more has become the undertone of our society. Striving for happiness, complacency has been lost. Contentment is where happiness and satisfaction is found, yet, our thirst for more has caused fulfillment in life to dwindle towards extinction.
This begs the question: How satisfied with life am I? Are you? Are we?
Lack of contentment exhibits many struggles within the heart. These struggles evolve into the makings of poor choices, developing unwanted consequences. Inevitably, the tendency of human nature erupts in a whirlwind of the soul commonly referred to as the American Dream. Deep in the depths of our heart, discontentment lays a foundation.
Each person wrestles with a tendency of human nature when normalcy becomes mundane, advancing to an unsatisfied life. The more we allow dissatisfaction to fester within, the more jealously rages. From there, a casual sequence lures us down a destructive path: Unhappiness moves the heart towards a jealousy of what others have or what we may think could or should be. Jealousy moves the mind towards a constant desire for more. Looking beyond the fence, we see others, thinking everyone else has it better off. Contentment is lost, and an envious attitude takes root.
The cycle cannot be broken- our actions follow our attitude. Bad attitudes lead to poor choices. Likewise, positive attitudes have the ability to lead toward positive choices. Look at what the Apostle Paul had to say:
“… for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:11-13, 19)
While in horrific conditions of an ancient prison, beaten and hungry, Paul wrote that he “learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” This man lived a life of severe hardship. A life that many of us fear, yet, through it all, satisfaction was found.
Paul had a sustained joy that I long for. The secret to his satisfied heart was found in a real relationship with Jesus rather than the circumstances faced. Paul said that he could “do all things through him who gives me strength”. Here, Paul was sharing that no matter what circumstance life provided- good days and horrific days- Jesus is the one that sustains.
Maybe my struggle with satisfaction is not about my stuff. Maybe the root of the struggle is maintaining a real relationship with Jesus. Maybe my quest for the American Dream blurred my vision of the true nature of the heart of God.
Jesus did not die to become my personal, mystical genie. Jesus gave up His life for me so that I would give up my life for Him.
Maybe, just maybe, sacrifice is where true satisfaction is found.