The field of education thrives on dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction is what makes us better, right? Setting goals, implementing strategies, collecting data, and evaluating progress fuels the continuous improvement model woven into our school culture. It’s how we work. Engrained in every serious educator is a desire to improve, whether it be in lesson planning or student performance. To say we are satisfied might lead to complacency, and no one wants that! In a sense, dissatisfaction can be a good thing—if we keep a proper perspective. This may prove challenging given the culture in which we live.
Seeds of dissatisfaction are being planted everywhere. Advertisements for weight loss, financial security, travel destinations, and home improvements—to name a few—entice us to focus on what we don’t have and where we are falling short. When this is added to the educational culture of continuous improvement, I fear many educators may find themselves leading lives characterized by discontentment. Striving to be that perfect mom, dad, assistant, administrator, or teacher can become a never-ending cycle of frustration. Satisfaction eludes us while dissatisfaction consumes us.
So what does it mean to be satisfied? I suppose there are many layers we could explore. For example, it is satisfying when we set a goal and achieve it. It is satisfying when we have a nice meal that relieves our hunger pangs. It can even be satisfying when someone appreciates our hard work. Unfortunately, I have found these types of satisfaction can be fleeting. They often create in us a desire for more—higher goals, better food, more accolades. The hunt for satisfaction can become a never-ending hamster wheel leading nowhere and leaving us feeling exhausted.
Is satisfaction even attainable? Some would say it isn’t and shouldn’t be. After all, doesn’t being satisfied mean we are willing to settle for mediocrity? Worse yet, could satisfaction lead to arrogance, thinking we are all that and a bag of chips? The answers to these questions might vary from man’s perspectives, but God’s perspective paints a very different picture of what it means to be satisfied.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27 (AMP)
You and I were created in the image and likeness of God. What does that mean? In the Amplified version, verse 26 refers to our likeness and our image not as physical traits. Rather, we reflect the spiritual and moral resemblance of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Got Questions explains it this way.
Having God’s image means we are fashioned to resemble and represent God on the earth. Some Christians like to say we are “imagers of God.” Our likeness with God is not a physical resemblance. Instead, God’s likeness denotes our capacity to rule over creation and be in relationship with God and other humans and to exercise reason, intelligence, speech, moral consciousness, creativity, rationality, and choice. Since the beginning of time, God has desired to bless us and enjoy close fellowship with us, and for this reason, He made us like Himself. (1)
What does this have to do with satisfaction? Everything. We were not created to find satisfaction in our jobs, looks, finances, relationships, or even ourselves. You and I were created to find our satisfaction in God alone. We were made to be in relationship with the one and only triune God. Only this will satisfy our souls. Satisfaction is possible.
The real issue becomes the object of our affection. Seeking satisfaction in anything other than God—even if it is a good thing—will leave us feeling empty and frustrated. One of the wisest men who ever lived knew this all too well. Listen to how Solomon begins and ends the book of Ecclesiastes.
“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!” Ecclesiastes 1:2
“That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
Solomon was quite the character. He went searching for satisfaction in just about everything known to man. You name it, and he tried it. From great wisdom to unimaginable wealth to scientific discovery to overabundance, he explored it all. What did he conclude? Without faith in God, there is no truth, no meaning, and no satisfaction in life. He described all other pursuits as “chasing after the wind” (1;14,17; 2:11; 4:4; 6:9).
The Book of Ecclesiastes, written around 935 B.C, provides us with a valuable perspective on life without Christ. It's remarkable how this ancient book still holds relevance in the present day. Take a look around. What do you see? People chasing after the wind, looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places. As a result, a life lived apart from Christ is filled with dissatisfaction.
It’s easy to point the finger at others, but all of us probably need to take a step back and ask ourselves a few questions.
“What brings me the most satisfaction?”
“What or who do I depend on to meet my needs?”
“Would I characterize myself as content?”
“Am I enjoying my life?”
It might appear the last question is a bit out of place, but in reality, it may be one of the most important questions we can ask ourselves. If we aren’t enjoying our lives, something or someone is distracting us from recognizing the true source of our satisfaction, the only source that comes with a 100% guarantee.
In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” What a powerful statement! Even though life is imperfect and we will experience hardships from time to time, when Jesus is our Savior, our souls can be satisfied by the goodness of God. Only then will we be freed up to truly enjoy life. That is satisfaction guaranteed!
Indwelling Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17)
Love, Peace, Joy (Galatians 5:22-23)
Eternal Life (John 17:3)
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
1 Got Questions. What does it mean when God said, “Let Us make man in Our image” (Genesis 1:26)? https://www.gotquestions.org/let-Us-make-man-in-Our-image.html