Can’t get no satisfaction? Try this…

I don’t like to ask for help. I’ll admit it- and my guess is that this is true of you also.  I often have no choice but to ask for help, but deep down inside I wish I was strong enough or smart enough that I didn’t need anyone else’s help. I guess you could say I have a fiercely independent nature. Which means that I need help asking for help.  (Do you see how deep this goes with me?)

We live in a radically self-sufficient society in the United States. We admire the kind of people that never need anyone else. We exalt the people who have enough money and are smart enough that they don’t have to rely on anybody else. This radical desire for independence isn’t a recent phenomenon.  For many generations people tried to build a life of self-sufficiency.

A very famous father of the Christian church once said that, “‘my soul is as earth without water unto Thee’; for, just as it cannot, of itself, enlighten itself, so, too, it cannot, of itself, satisfy itself.”[1]  Saint Augustine wrote these words as a wealthy and powerful young man. During this period of his life, he was sleeping with his mistress and had everything the world could offer.   The more that he chased after pleasure, the more he realized that deep down inside it really didn’t satisfy.

I once had this unconscious impression that people who are really smart, very pretty, or extremely powerful didn’t need anything. I often treated those people like they didn’t need Jesus. Thinking back on it now, I realize how foolish it was to think anyone could find satisfaction without Jesus. I don’t know why but I just had this impression that good people didn’t really want Jesus. The longer that I live the more that I see how a life without Jesus doesn’t satisfy.

My counseling over the years has taught me that without Jesus:

The super-rich are still needy

There are a few things that money can’t buy for you. Like peace. You can’t put a price tag on peace.  In fact, the more that you own the more that you risk losing peace (because you stand to lose more in a fire or flood than someone with few possessions). Sometimes the happiest people I’ve met are the poorest people that I’ve met.  Similarly, no amount of money can buy you peace with God. This is only possible through the blood of his Son Jesus.

The powerful are weak

Many people live like they cannot get enough power. The next big promotion doesn’t satisfy. Soon you’ll want the corner office. When the corner office doesn’t satisfy, they want to become CEO. When the CEO doesn’t have as much power as the chairman of the board they want that position. I suspect, that even if they became chairman of the board, many people would still long for more power.

Generally, people who lust after power are looking for control. They don’t realize that no amount of power will give you control over all aspects of life. That’s why power never really can satisfy you. By the way, there’s always someone more powerful than you.  Even the President of the United States doesn’t have the power to live like an absolute monarch. No one has ultimate power except God alone. That’s why power cannot satisfy.

Not all beautiful people are pretty on the inside

Magazine covers do a great job of making people look beautiful on the outside but I often wonder how pretty they really are on the inside?   Beauty goes much further than “skin deep.”  True beauty is found in a heart of a pleasant personality. A beautiful woman can handle the ugly circumstances of life with grace and poise.  No amount of makeup can cover up an ugly heart.

A man’s character makes him much more attractive than big muscles and a handsome face.  If you’re the kind of guy that spends countless hours at the gym and hundreds of dollars on protein each week let me suggest investing that much of your time and energy in your relationship with Jesus.  The more time that you spend with him the more he will help you learn about yourself.  Jesus has the power to make you into a man of character on the inside.  By the way- beauty fades and muscles get flabby but character lasts a lifetime.

I hope this blog has helped you see that even the people that seem to have it all together really don’t.  I hope you will remember that beauty, power, or wealth can’t really satisfy you.  The reason they can’t satisfy you is that you were made for much more than those things. Here’s how Saint Augustine finished the statement about finding satisfaction in a relationship with Jesus.  “With Thee [God] is the fountain of life,’ just as ‘in Thy Light we shall see light.’”[2]  If your life is dry and leaving you longing for more- turn to Jesus and find a fountain of life that will never leave you unsatisfied.

[1] Augustine of Hippo, Confessions (ed. Roy Joseph Deferrari; trans. Vernon J. Bourke; vol. 21; The Fathers of the Church; Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1953), 425.

[2] Ibid.,

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