“Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied.”
–Henry George, American economist
A couple of months ago, I was returning a vehicle to a car rental company. In the country I live in, if you get into a car accident and your vehicle is rendered unusable, the insurance company will often pay for you to rent a vehicle of a similar class while yours is getting repaired. I was returning a modest mid-sized sedan. Another gentleman in front of me was also returning a vehicle. He was returning a fancy Mercedes-Benz (which meant that his current car was of a similar caliber or better). Apparently, the Mercedes was the nicest car the rental company had in their fleet. The clerk at the counter asked the man if he was satisfied with their service and requested for some feedback on how they could improve. The man’s answer surprised me. He remarked, “I would’ve wanted to use a better car.” I found it comical because the man was already given the best car in their fleet.
I guess some people just won’t be satisfied. How about us? Will we ever be satisfied and content with what we currently have? Or do we have this personal craving for more?
Will we ever be satisfied? Paul wrote to Timothy, “But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content” (1 Timothy 6:6-8, ESV). Paul called it great gain to be content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.
Contentment enables us to really focus on the things that greatly matter to God. The problem with not being satisfied is that we’ll begin to spend large amounts of time chasing after what we think will satisfy us. And we’ll do it at the expense of some of the more important things in life such as growing our relationship with God, ministering to our families, and building Christ’s kingdom. But at the end of the day, will worldly things really satisfy us? Or will it only increase our appetite for more? As believers in Jesus, it will be great gain for us to learn to be satisfied with whatever we have right now. We can then begin to utilize more of our time, energy, and resources chasing after the things that greatly matter to God.