Have you ever experienced that empty feeling? That hollow ache in your heart? That longing for something more?
I have too.
That emptiness is called unfulfillment. Seeking fulfillment by way of the world is one of the most draining pursuits. I used to constantly seek fulfillment the world’s way. Eventually, I discovered a world-shattering truth: Only a close-relationship with Jesus can grant satisfying eternal fulfillment.
But many of us are still seeking fulfillment in all the wrong places. There are three common sources of contentment that fall short:
1. Dating and relationships
Many times I have seen young men and women believing the lie that if they only find the right date or spouse, they’ll be complete. That lie often invades young adults’ minds and takes over as an unhealthy obsession. Unfortunately, I used to not only believe the lie, but I also allowed it to become an obsession.
2. Other people
Sadly, even in the church, there are many people who “compete” by trying to look the best—whether outwardly or inwardly, all in the wrong way. We place our identity in the praise and accolades from others, longing to look the best and be the best.
I experienced this as well. To ensure that I would “win” or be at the top, I would regularly attend multiple church activities and I did well in them. Now I’ll find satisfying fulfillment, I always thought as people praised and admired me. But the fulfillment I was seeking through having others look up to me wasn’t satisfying at all.
“I’m good enough.”
At least, that’s what I always told myself. I did well in all my subjects in school and got along with my sister as often as I could. I didn’t need any help because I thought I could find fulfillment on my own. Finding fulfillment through Christ was one of the last things on my mind.
But ever since God revealed the truth to me and the beauty of being genuinely fulfilled in him, I have striven to serve him, grow in my relationship with him, and share with others the truth that he shown me…
Humans are flawed.
We’re prone to misunderstandings, hurtful actions and attitudes, whether we intend to or not.
When we try to find fulfillment in a relationship, we forget that marriage and dating are gifts from God. They’re not a right, and they should never be our ultimate goal. We can never expect our date or spouse to be perfect, understand us completely, or even never hurt us. Even when the world is turned against us, Christ will never let us down and he perfectly understands even our deepest thoughts and longings.
Human approval or acceptance is temporary.
Approval from humans is like trends: they only last for so long. Besides, what happens when we’re alone? If fulfillment depends on human approval or acceptance, we are back to being unfulfilled when the day ends and we’re all alone.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)
We are too flawed to ever fulfill ourselves.
I don’t know about you, but many nights I have found myself lying in bed “beating myself up” for something wrong I did…again. It’s impossible for us to find fulfillment within ourselves. We can’t be perfect. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23). Even our best efforts towards perfection fall short.
We’re hopeless then…right?
None of these things will ever be able to fulfill us. What in the world will?
The answer is simple, but its impact life-changing: walking with Jesus and a personal relationship with him.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
All those feelings of a need to be fulfilled are good because God placed them inside us! Their purpose is to drive us to find a deep, meaningful relationship with the only true source of fulfillment—Jesus Christ.
1. He Knows You Completely
Our God is so wonderful! He is a personal God. In spite of what the world thinks, our God has emotion. He’s experienced grief, joy, rejection, and heart-break (Isaiah 53:3). If you’re born-again, he even rejoices over you with singing!
Psalm 139:4 says,“Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.”
2. He Loves You Fully, Forever
The world’s love is extremely conditional and limited, but our God’s love for us is everlasting and unconditional. Nothing you can do will make him love you less…or more. We can’t fully grasp the depth of his immense love for us. In our embarrassment, rebellion, and shame God continually loves us.
Jeremiah 31:3 tells us, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you”
3. He Will Never Fail You
We are often deceived into thinking we can gain fulfillment from ourselves or outside sources.
One of the biggest lies in our world is, “I’m going to heaven because I’m a good enough person.”
Actually, you’re not good. I’m not good. (Isaiah 64:6)
Even our best efforts to do well aren’t perfect. The only person who’s good enough to fulfill is Jesus because he alone is perfect.
We can choose him because he first chose us.
Though it took me a long time to figure it out, no amount of good works and no human relationship can fulfill you in the deep, true and personal way that Jesus Christ can.
“You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.” (Isaiah 62:3)