As humans, and especially in our culture, we always want more. We are never satisfied. When we get one thing we want, we are immediately chomping at the bit for the next big thing we think we MUST have in order to be happy.
WHAT MY CHILDREN TAUGHT ME
My son begged and begged for a certain new Thomas the Train toy one time when he was about 4 years old. He already had over 120 trains (his dad found a big special on ebay one time with 80 used trains!?!?!). He said something that struck me – and I still remember it vividly all these years later:
Mama, if you would just get me that ONE MORE Thomas toy – I will NEVER want anything else again for the rest of my life!
I had to laugh.
“My dear boy, even after you get this one thing you think you HAVE to have, you will still want LOTS of things after that.” He looked at me incredulously, “No! Mama, Really! I won’t ever want another thing!”
That is SO US!
Unless we are putting Jesus first in our lives by a long shot – we are not content with what we have. We have this gaping void in our souls, and we try to fill it with all kinds of earthly things, but once we have our idols in our possession – they never satisfy.
SOME IDOLS WE HAVE TO TRY TO FIND HAPPINESS AND SATISFACTION
- a better paying job
- a job with better hours
- a job with better coworkers
- more money
- being thin
- beauty and vanity
- having a boyfriend
- getting a diamond ring
- planning a wedding
- having a wedding
- getting married
- having a particular kind of man
- expectations of what kind of spiritual leader our man is/will be
- expectations of happily ever after
- having a husband
- the man in our life
- a tiny, impotent, weak picture of God
- religion (going to a church building and sitting there for 2 hours per week because it makes us think we are being “good”)
- trying to be in control of our lives and people around us
- trying to please everyone (read here for more about the sin of people pleasing)
- bitterness, holding onto a huge grudge and anger, refusing to forgive someone, seeking revenge
- self, pride, arrogance, thinking I know better than anyone else and I know better than God
- addictions to drugs, alcohol, pornography, gambling
This is NOT an exhaustive list of possible idols. “The human heart is an idol factory.” We come up with so many things to set our hearts on and to make more important to us than God is. And the sad thing is, we don’t even realize we are doing it!
AN EXAMPLE OF HOW IDOLATRY DOESN’T SATISFY AND ONLY BRINGS EMPTINESS AND MISERY
Some women spend TONS of time and money on make-up, hair styles, gym memberships and sometimes even surgery to have the “perfect” body. Some women are literally addicted to plastic surgery. They think, “If I could just have bigger breasts, I would be so happy with my life.” If that is your motivation for plastic surgery – to find contentment and satisfaction in life by having a bigger or smaller body part – it is an idol, and it won’t satisfy.
After one surgery, these women then think, “I’m still not happy! I must not be pretty enough yet. When I am pretty enough, and sexy enough, and perfect enough – then I will feel loved, accepted and cherished.” So they get more surgery. But it still doesn’t satisfy for long – soon there are other “imperfections” that these women notice and fixate on and become obsessed about. “If my eyebrows were just a quarter of an inch higher – my life would be AWESOME! I could accept myself and be comfortable in my own skin then!”
Surgeries, expensive makeup, clothing, hairstyles, fake nails, expensive jewelry, fancy cars, the newest gadgets, boyfriends, husbands, diamond rings, weddings, money, being thin… these don’t make us feel fulfilled. Only Jesus can do that. And He can only do that when we completely yield ourselves to Him and let Him be totally in charge of our lives. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
TO DISCOVER THE SECRET TO TRUE CONTENTMENT
Check out this post!
To learn things that contribute to a spirit of discontentment, read here!
I pray that we might lay down our lives on the altar before You. Help us to be willing to crucify our own will, our desires, our old self, our wants, our rights, our dreams, our goals, our plans… and help us to live completely for You. Let us hunger for Your Word and be satisfied with nothing but Your will! Let us pray for Your total and full will and greatest glory to be accomplished in our lives no matter what Your will is for us. Help us to be content with You alone. Help us to hunger for Your Word and abide in Your presence. Cleanse us of our idolatry, pride and all of our sin. Create clean hearts in us and renew a right spirit in us that is humble, contrite, broken before You and in awe of Who You are!
In the Name and power of Christ,