Johnny Lee sings a song called, “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.” I believe that to be the case for most of us. We also look for happiness in all the wrong places. We all have a “God-sized hole in the center of our chest,” and it can only be filled by God himself. The trouble is, many of us spend a lot of our lives trying very hard to fill it with something else.
Money Was My God
For me, for a very long time, I wanted to make money for all the wrong reasons. I wanted, needed to accumulate wealth and be successful to prove who I was, to feel the love I so desperately wanted and needed. Wealth accumulation, material possessions, success, power, prominence … these were my areas of concentration. It is clear to me now that because I was serving money as my master, I couldn’t become the best version of myself.
The 4 Ps
All of us want to live good lives, to experience success, be happy, and feel loved. Most of us pursue these things in four basic ways, which include:
- Prominence – we want to be noticed for our achievements. That could mean career success or social standing. Others want notoriety for excelling in a field, including education, or even philanthropy and doing good deeds. Prominence makes us feel respected and admired, held in high esteem, and most importantly, loved. Why do we seek prominence? To fill the hole. And of course, it never works.
- Possessions – look at the houses we live in, the cars we drive, and the things we wear. It’s a universal issue, no matter our sex, race, religion, age, or socioeconomic position. We value stuff. The amount of electronic gadgetry that most of us have is over the top. We try to fill the hole with so many things that are really so meaningless. What is it for you? I’m not suggesting that we should go without a house or a car, but instead understand why we buy what we do. Is it for functionality or status?
- Pleasure – when we don’t know that we’re made for greatness, we rely on distraction and entertainment, anything that provides us with pleasure. Far too many people equate pleasure with joy. They’re not the same. Joy is long lasting, not dependent on our specific circumstances. Pleasure, on the other hand, is only experienced in the moment. Once the act creating the pleasure is over, the pleasure is gone. It is fleeting. And let me tell you, you’ll never be able to experience enough pleasure to fill the hole.
- People – whether we realize it or not, many of us turn other people into false gods. They may be professional athletes, actors, musicians, politicians, dignitaries, the wealthy, very successful, or those that hold prominent positions. But they can also be people in our own lives. The truth is, idolizing other people in any way only sets us up to be deeply hurt and disappointed. It can never fill the hole in our hearts.
We Want to be Accepted, Respected, and Loved
It can seem almost deceptively simple. We just want to be accepted, respected, and loved. We have this God-sized hole in the center of our chest, and to fill the hole we chase after all these things that can’t bring us happiness. We chase false happiness and false gods. And we continue to be overwhelmed because of the effort it takes and the emptiness it still leaves.
There is hope! But we have to stop looking for fulfillment in prominence, possessions, pleasure, and people. Only one thing can fill that God-sized hole, and that’s God himself.
Please share your thoughts with me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
May God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!