Satisfaction

Posted: September 20, 2009 in Lessons, Music

Preacher Ken used the #2 rock song of all-time in his sermon this morning, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, to recognize the general cry of dissatisfaction emanating from the world and offer a Christian response.

I’m not trying to offer my own sermon in response, but it did get me to thinking.

Long ago, I came to appreciate Larry Crabb’s conclusions to what human beings seek. He summarized a human being’s aspirations as (1) security, and (2) significance. With that in mind, I can formulate what I think following Jesus offers to “satisfy” the dissatisfied.

First, a sense of security. Security is inherently big industry in this world. It is the business of government. It is the health care industry. It is the insurance industry. It is why we go to work, try to eat healthy, work out, budget our money as we do, and lock our doors at night. It is the (somewhat unhealthy) foundation behind many of our relationships. We don’t want to be hurt. We don’t want to die.

But the truth is that governments rise and fall, jobs come and go, health thrives and then fails, and those we depend on die. Christianity (and many other religions) offers something beyond all this – that our ultimate security does not depend on anything in this life. Flatly stated, even death is not final.

Second, a sense of significance. When we aren’t trying to be safe, we are searching for our purpose. Rick Warren made a mint off the word. We look for it in our jobs, in our relationships, in our social groups, and in our hobbies. In a word, we are looking for love. We want to be important. We want to matter.

But as Mick Jagger says, we have a hard time getting there. Fame, money, and success have time and again proved incapable of fulfilling this internal need to matter. Jesus had a unique answer to this human problem. He claimed that everyone matters – period. That you can’t help but matter. Therefore, you no longer need to prove yourself, to make yourself worthy of love. You are loved, and your purpose is to love. So get to it.

Seeking “satisfaction” is a dangerous road. On one hand, we tend to seek it in all the wrong ways. On the other hand, we also misuse the word as an excuse to maintain untenable status quos.

But I think Jesus does offer a unique approach to the cry for satisfaction, a path that doesn’t depend on circumstances or relationships or time and place. There is a path to satisfaction that begins and ends internally. And then sets one free to fearlessly embrace and encounter a dissatisfied world.

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