Benjamin J. Stephens
How is it possible for a person who is economically disadvantaged to have a higher degree of satisfaction than one who has multiple advantages?
I know this is not universally true, but in my own life experience I’ve seen many very satisfied people who didn’t have much.
Some of you may remember a time when there was either no television or a time when the television in your home was limited to a select few channels. In my own past I remember looking forward to those favorite programs and I knew what those programs were and where to find them - and I don’t recall being dissatisfied.
Today there are hundreds of channels to choose from and we often come away from a bout of channel surfing only to discover we have found little in the way of meaningful entertainment. Americans are notorious for their desire to be entertained and you can bet television producers are trying, but if we’re honest we are not routinely satisfied with most viewing choices. Perhaps it is because there are just too many channels to choose from or that the available choices no longer satisfy.
I could name the three favorite places where I liked to eat growing up. There were things on the menu that I would order every time I was treated to a meal out. Today there are so many choices no one can decide and many times one or more family member is dissatisfied with the ultimate dining choice.
Advertising, by its very nature, is designed to instill a sense of dissatisfaction in those who hear, see or read them.
Discontent is great for capitalism. If you can be convinced that what you have is not big enough, not impressive enough, and not new enough then you can be more easily swayed to make a purchase of something that promises all things big, impressive and new. I suppose it’s safe to say that a certain level of discontent has helped America maintain one of the stronger world economies.
A family who has never had 100 channels may not feel a great sense of dissatisfaction because they may not feel that they are missing out. If they come to believe that somehow they are deprived, the satisfaction level plummets.
If a neighbor or family member gets a new car it may not take long before you want a new car because when you compare yours with theirs you may feel deprived.
We all make promises that when we reach a certain level of financial security or when we can make that next big purchase we WILL be satisfied, yet when the purchase is made or the final note paid we feel compelled to find a new thing to desire and acquire.
Interestingly, we often respond in exactly the opposite way when it comes to our walk with Jesus. We are all too willing to be satisfied at the lowest possible level. Working to drink deep from God’s Word seems too hard so we become satisfied with sips - sometimes we resort to being force fed on the weekends. We’d like to spend more time with God’s people but we’ve got a new boat to pay for. Giving to the church would be a great idea except for the fact that we just contracted for a new addition to the house. Ultimately we are most satisfied knowing that God’s grace covers our inability to find dissatisfaction in our walk with the Grace Giver.
When you read Scripture you find repeated references to things that make no sense. Thing like, in order to have you give, enemies are be forgiven instead of retaliated against, and in God’s economy the servant is the leader.
So, it is entirely possible that we have our sense of satisfaction turned around. Perhaps we should be willing to raise the bar of satisfaction when it comes to our relationship with Jesus while finding wholesome satisfaction in all that He created for our enjoyment. After all, children are only young for so long - how long will you work? Jesus wants to spend time with you - how long is that next television show? Eternity’s a long time - how long will your car last?
“The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the Lord will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy. Let the rich of the earth feast and worship. Let all mortals—those born to die—bow down in his presence” (Psalm 22: 26,29 - NLT).
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Amen. I liked the way that you presented your article in the now, which is evidently why the word of God is still a truth that exists today. God bless ya, littlelight
Perfect timing! "Ultimately we are most satisfied knowing that Godâ€™s grace covers our inability to find dissatisfaction in our walk with the Grace Giver." Thank you for your obedience in writing these words today! Your Sister in Christ! Jounda