All I Need
As a culture, perhaps the best word that describes us is unsatisfied. We can’t seem to get enough, which is ironic since historically we have more abundance than ever before.
“The incredible rise in living standards for the majority of Americans and Western Europeans has made them more affluent, healthier, more comfortable, more free, and sovereign over ever taller piles of stuff—but has not made them any happier.”
- Gregg Easterbrook, The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse
An illusion has formed in our collective subconscious that if we just had a little more, we would finally be satiated. Full. Satisfied. Instead, we are, as a culture, more anxious, frustrated, and stressed than we have ever been. Easterbrook wasn’t just guessing when he baldly announced we aren’t any happier with our piles of stuff; he was looking at studies, surveys, and data that confirmed it.
And it’s not just stuff we turn to for fulfilment. We try on different religions, sampling Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and various forms of Christianity in hopes one will bring peace to our souls. And then there is the “religion” of self-help. Americans spend 10 billion a year on self-help resources that promise to help people make changes, turn their lives around, and finally—FINALLY—have the life they always wanted. And if religion isn’t the answer, perhaps mysticism is, or science and logic, or philosophy.
We could spend our whole lives chasing after things that promise satisfaction but just don’t deliver on a long-term basis. But we don’t have to. Scripture makes a very bold claim: All I need, both now and forever, is found in the person of Jesus Christ. It’s an audacious statement, but it makes sense for two reasons: 1) Jesus is Lord over everything in the world, and 2) he gives us all we need for our good.
People go looking for satisfaction in created things when the Creator offers a relationship and a promise to see their needs met. The things of the world were meant for our pleasure, but they can’t satisfy us forever. They weren’t designed to. I don’t say this to diminish wealth, learning, art, culture, religion, or any other created thing. But why settle for just those things when you can be in relationship with the Creator and through him be truly satisfied?
As this new series in Colossians gets underway, I have two claims to make. You’ve already seen them once, but here they are again.
1. Jesus is Lord over everything in the world and universe.
2. Jesus gives us all we need for our good both now and forever.
The book of Colossians brings those intellectual concepts down to street level and helps us see how they matter in our daily life. I can’t wait to show you how they apply to your life and mine. Jesus really is All I Need.