I do try to reference the Word of God when I submit a discussion topic or subject here, and this one is no different. In the book of Philippians, Chapter 4 Verses 11 and 12, Paul talks about learning to be content in all things. When he has much or little, when there is, as my mother wold say, feast or famine. The concept of satisfaction is greatly lacking, yet also not understood, especially in this time of mankind.
We are bombarded each day with reasons to NOT be satisfied with anything and everything in our lives. We are constantly given reasons to look for the ‘next best thing’ the ‘new and improved’ the ‘better than before’ the ‘more powerful’, ‘more luxurious’, more this, more that, and usually the more is less than before, yet our desire to love what we don’t have and hate what we do because of what we don’t have is a real deterrent from any real contentment within ourselves.
Content is to be satisfied, yet can man truly find contentment in an age full of the desire to be un-satisfied?
The path to this, I have found, is only as difficult as our mind makes it. I say ‘our mind’ because that is where it actually starts; the body only follows the course that the mind lays out. We are so dependent upon our senses, especially our sight and hearing, and these senses are what fuel our levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. For example, the teaching of how to be un-satisfied starts at a very young age, usually around six months. When a child starts to figure out that when he or she cries, they may get a present, or when a certain time of the year comes, they gets a gift, or when they see something on television or in the store, and they ask or cry for it and they GET it, they begin to follow a pattern of un-satisfaction.
We sometimes call it, ‘being spoiled’, yet this dysfunctional thinking does not end as we grow. It will usually mature as we mature, and only the items that we cry for change into something that will suit the age of the person. This is something that businesses have figured out and exploited from the beginning; there is a profit in our dysfunction, and since we are not taught contentment in school, in the home, in the churches, etc… we go about our lives in a whirlwind of dissatisfied stimulation which only increases in intensity as the need for profit, the underlining point of dissatisfaction in us all, comes into play.
Understand that this is not a post that suggests that you should sit idle in your life and not move forward to bigger and better things; no, it is a post to hopefully get you to think as I have about the things that need change in our lives and those that if not changed, will not cause great anxiety within us.
Many people have practiced the art of dis-satisfaction in reference to the thoughts and opinions of others. Society has gone through great lengths to achieve the un-achievable; true approval from another person. Whether this person is related or non-related, we are taught that who we are, and where we are is not good enough. What we have is not good enough, and must be constantly improved upon. Now the improvement medium is usually based upon someone else’s standard which changes constantly because the person is just as un-satisfied with themselves as the person seeking their approval. This causes a vicious cycle that can not be quenched, thus the reasoning behind current technological innovation, style, status, and hierarchical positioning. As long as the need to please and the lack of contentment is allowed to grow, the greater the emotional and eventual spiritual damage will be.
So how do we go about trying to be satisfied with what we have, where we are in our lives, what we look like, and even who we are to others and ourselves? I believe the key is understanding ourselves and that we are NOT born this way, more so that we are not taught the difference between contentment and dissatisfaction. We have to look back upon our history and realize that this is something that began long ago; long before we were born and has gained great strength and influence over us as man has progressed throughout the ages.
In other words, the cycle has to broken within ourselves. If the decision to change comes, let it be because of the inner man, not the one outside of yourself.