We live in a “now” culture, a society that increasingly values instant gratification. In a world of smart phones, high-speed internet, and online shopping, anything we could want is a click away. While this “now” culture can make life more efficient, we can also become more impatient, wanting what we want when we want it. However, this desire for instant gratification stems from something deeper: a longing to be fulfilled. People often assume that they can achieve fulfillment by obtaining everything they ever wanted, only to find themselves lacking and empty. The truth is that fulfillment does not come by giving in to every whim, but from two kinds of actions: serving others instead of yourself and putting God first in your life.
When you look it up, satisfaction is defined as pleasure that comes from obtaining one’s wishes, expectations, or needs. At its essence, the word satisfaction is very self-interested; satisfaction is gaining what you want. By contrast, fulfillment is defined as the happiness that results from fully developing one’s abilities or character. Therefore, fulfillment is less about obtaining and more about building something within yourself. Scripture tells us:
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10, NIV)
Any gift or skill that we receive from God is not for our satisfaction but should be viewed as a tool so that we can faithfully serve others.
Moreover, we must place our focus on God in order to truly be fulfilled. We must direct our attention away from selfish actions and toward our Heavenly Father. Psalms 37:4 tells us:
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (37:4, NIV)
Having the desires of our heart does not mean that we will get everything we want. Instead, it means that when we place our focus in the right direction, the fulfillment that we’re searching for will be given to us. God wants us to find our joy in Him; if our hearts are set on worldly things, we will never achieve the fulfillment we desire.
As technology advances, we may find ourselves always moving to the next distraction, seeking to obtain what we think might satisfy. However, when we go after earthly things, we will only come away unfulfilled. In reality, serving others and focusing on God are the only venues for true fulfillment. Both of these actions direct us away from our inward focus and instead make us focus on things outside of ourselves. Jesus considered this call to servitude as the most important part of the Law; when we lay down our impatient desires for others and for God, we’re that much closer to mirroring Christ in our lives.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40, NIV)
The Journey Principles offers a spiritual approach to healing your relationships through God’s love.
In your service,