When a Perfect Life Doesn’t Satisfy

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Some people just seem like they have it all together. They have the perfect job, perfect house, perfect wardrobe, perfect relationship. Their Instagram feed is beautiful. Their social life is thriving. It’s hard to compete, right?

At first glance, we see those seemingly perfect people and become jealous or start to compare. Then, when we actually sit down with those people, we realize they are just as confused, lonely, or fearful. They still feel like they are missing something. 

What I love about Christianity is that Jesus came for people who are broken and messy. He came to help those who recognize their need for a Savior. Even more, He came for those who seem perfect but are actually in need of Him.

In Matthew 19, a rich young ruler approaches Jesus. 

He’s got his youth, his wealth, and his good reputation. In fact, he’s claiming he’s upheld all of the most important commandments. The problem is, even with his seemingly perfect life, he still recognizes that he’s missing something.

The man wants to earn heaven with one more good deed. He straight up asks Jesus what he can do to show he’s worthy of heaven. 

“Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” Matthew 19:16 ESV

We’ve all been there. We’ve all wondered what behavior is good enough. We’ve all longed to have that straightforward answer about what exactly we need to do.

I wonder that at my job – how can I best teach these students? 

I wonder that in my marriage – how can I best support my husband? 

I wonder that in my faith – how can I best prove I am a “good Christian” and trust in Him?

On the outside, this rich young ruler seemed very put together. When Jesus answers his question by telling him to keep the commandments, the ruler asks which ones and then replies asking for more.

“All of these [commandments] I have kept. What do I still lack?” Matthew 19:20 ESV

That question hits us, right? Asking the question, “what do I lack?” shows there is still something missing in his life. 

Wealth won’t fix it. Youth won’t fix it. Good behavior won’t fix it. He’s still desiring something.

When we’re really honest with ourselves, all that we are chasing doesn’t fully satisfy. We can have the perfect job, perfect house, perfect wardrobe, perfect relationship. We can even have perfect morals and values and uphold the reputation of a “good person.”

Jesus answers the rich ruler by telling him to sell his possessions. Wealth is what the ruler was leaning on because he placed his dependency on money in order to try to fill the void.

It might not be money for you. It might be a relationship, a career, a child. Yet, we still find ourselves lacking.

A relationship and dependency on Jesus are what will fix what we lack. We can’t lean on wealth or performance and let that make us feel satisfied with our lives. These simply create a spirit of false independence. 

We start to believe we can handle it on our own. We lean on our own effort and then wonder why we feel anxious and fearful.

Only Jesus is there when we mess up our perfect track record. Only Jesus is there when we get cut out of the deal and lose the business. Only Jesus is there when we seemingly have everything but still feel empty.

Perfection can never satisfy. That’s why our earthly lives still leave us lacking. We need Jesus.

Unfortunately, the rich young ruler left full of sorrow because he couldn’t bear with giving up his effort to keep up with appearances. He couldn’t manage to ditch his dependency on wealth. He had every possession, but he still left lacking.

Our world is full of keeping up with appearances. We compare and compete. We hide our mess. Yet deep down, we are all asking “what do I still lack?”

Instead of asking Jesus for a deed that we can perform to prove our worth, we must recognize we are not worthy. He is the One who is worthy. He is the One our heart craves.

Now we have the answer. We lack Jesus. Nothing else will fill that void.  If only we can cling to Jesus.

About the Author

Kara Abernathy is a Christian lifestyle blogger and high school English teacher from Kansas City. You can often find her shopping at Target or dancing with her husband. She invites you to follow along as she inspires others to cling to Jesus by walking in truth and living in grace. It is her goal that her writing becomes a corner of the Internet where broken people can encounter a perfect Lord. Follow her on BlogPinterestInstagram

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Seeking Christ Word | Discover how to seek Christ instead of perfection. These tips are perfect for anyone looking for fulfillment. Christ satisfies | content with life jesus | bible scriptures for women | Godly living | Godly woman | Loving yourself | spiritual inspiration | word of god | #christianliving #christianencouragement #christianwomen