Searching for Satisfaction

Searching for Satisfaction

Are you fully satisfied? Would the word content describe you? In the passage  a rich young man comes to Jesus and is looking for some help with his dissatisfaction. He is perplexed, because he has kept all the rules, yet still feels something lacking in his experience of God. It is an honest question. “What do I still lack?” In other words, “what do I need to do; what’s still wrong with me; what will it take?” If the rich young man were alive today, the lyrics to U2’s But I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For might resonate with him.

“All these [rules] I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect [whole], go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Matthew 19:20-22 

Jesus doesn’t beat around the bush. He knows the young man’s soul has not found satisfaction in adhering to duties.  To highlight the real issue, Jesus invites the young man to go, sell all his possessions, and give them to the poor. The young man walks away sad, because he was not ready to give up his ruling passion.

Ruling passions. I certainly have a few. Ruling passions would be the things that we turn to before we turn to God for soul satisfaction.

One of my ruling passions is located in almost every town and on every street block in the city of Chicago. Its sign has a circular green logo with an image looking like a mermaid in the center. Their Christmas 2012 marketing theme claimed to “Rekindle the Joy”, yet they charge $5 for a cup of that joy.  Holding a warm cup of coffee in my hands is nice, but the decrease in my bank account brings myself a lack of anything resembling the emotion of joy.

There are many things that I often turn to before I turn to God and Creator whether in difficulty, temptation, or a longing for fulfillment. Many of these things, get in the way of experiencing God. Ruling passions ultimately become defining dissatisfactions. They always look bright, shiny, and satisfying at first, but they leave an after taste of regret, guilt, and emptiness.

Before we can find true soul satisfaction, we need to uncover the problem with God and identify any ruling passions that compete with Him. Let’s be honest with ourselves and courageous with our God. He knows everything about us and walks patiently alongside us on our journeys.

As we search our hearts and minds, know that the LORD is gracious and compassionate. (Psalm 111:4) And recall that Romans 8:32 tells us, “[God] who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Did you hear that? He graciously give us all things. The things that truly satisfy!

About Erin Nicole Thompson

Erin Nicole Thompson is a fun-loving and authentic momma to 4 littles, wife of a ruggedly handsome Pastor, and as she likes to think, the CEO of her home operations. She delights in worship, cooking with good music, the sweet faces of her sleeping children, adult conversations, and some quiet time at Starbucks. She loves to serve alongside, encourage, and equip young and seasoned women. Erin is grateful to be part of what God is doing at The Chapel, a multi-campus church in Northern Chicago-land where her husband, Dave, pastors the Lake Zurich Campus. Presently, she lives to dream and follow God as he writes her story.

  • Cyndi Tilley

    Ruling passions really are the mindless things which tempt me to veg out and not focus on God. I have wasted too many hours on them. I am working on putting my priorities in order and being more diligent to not let those passions get in my way. Great reminder Erin! He does graciously give us all we need.

  • Angie Wachendorf

    Wow…this speaks to me. After a day of melancholy and wondering why, this was the nudging from God via Erin that I needed.