Are you satisfied? Not just in a “I just ate a big lunch” sort of way. But truly satisfied? Or does it seem like you’re always longing for something more? As if there’s something “out there” that you know will make you truly happy if you could just find it?
Do you find yourself thinking “if I can just afford/do/accomplish/be with [fill in the blank]”, then I’ll be happy only to find out it is a moving target. Or maybe you have you been let down so many times that you’ve become cynical even to the idea that anything can make you truly satisfied?
If any of those questions sound like you, you are not alone. Many of us who grew up in the United States have been fed on a diet of the American dream. We suffer from affluenza and even though we have so much more than most of the world’s population, we are never satisfied.
Let’s take a moment and compare that to what Solomon, the wisest and richest man who ever lived, has to say about the subject in Ecclesiastes 6. In the first few verses Solomon discusses the three measuring sticks of success in Hebrew society: wealth, long life, and lots of children. But as wonderful as these gifts are, unless God is in the midst we cannot enjoy them.
In 6:1-2, Solomon shares his basic premise: “I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on mankind: God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.” The “evil” that Solomon speaks of is not being able to enjoy the gifts that God has given us, including money and our stuff.
There is a very important principle in these verses. The money, honors, and accomplishments of life can only be enjoyed if God is empowering us. Having wealth, as great a blessing as that can be, is not the source of satisfaction. Most people accumulate wealth to sustain them through a long and prosperous life. We try to eat right, work out, and make sure we look good. Yet, the truth is, many people who have been given long life do not use their years wisely for the Lord. So the issue is not long life per se, but rather how you live the life you have. The same can be said of our wealth. As so many people learned in the recession of 2008, money can disappear quickly.
The bottom line is this. We need to enjoy what God has given us today. There is no guarantee that we will have our money and stuff tomorrow. Be satisfied with what God has given you and trust Him for all your future needs.
1. Take a few moments and ask God if you are enjoying the blessings God has given you? Then answer these questions honestly: Where does my satisfaction reside? Are there things in my life that God has been asking me to let go? What must happen for me to loosen my grip?
2. Am I satisfied or dissatisfied with what God has given me in this life? Why am I restless? What motivates me to do what I do on a daily basis? When I have success who receives the credit?
3. Does the thought of God’s hand ruling over my life comfort me? Can I accept the fact that I am not sovereign and all-knowing but still trust in the God who knows me and loves me?