We Are Never Satisfied

A reading for Friday, May 23, 2014: Matthew 7:1-12.

I heard prolific author and farmer, Wendell Berry speak a few weeks ago here in Nashville. He carefully laid out an approach to life in which we are in mutual relationship with our neighbors, living our lives within a community of love and support. Such a community, according to Berry, is essential to health, happiness, and goodness in the world around us. It was an important message.

A member of the audience asked him what the greatest challenge to such a community would be? What prevents us from living this way?

Berry quickly answered, "We are a culture that has been taught never to be satisfied." In our marketing, our education system, our work lives, and even our family lives we are never supposed to be satisfied with the way things are. There is always more to be had, and more to be done.

Jesus said, "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged." One important by-product of our never satisfied culture is judging others and comparing ourselves to others with a critical eye. We want what they have... We are better than they are... They are not as important as we are...

Jesus was not saying that we are not to know the difference between right and wrong, but only that we are not to think more highly of ourselves than others. This is never to be satisfied.

Jesus was saying that we live by the grace of God, who gives us what we need for abundant life. In the same way a parent cares for a child, God cares for us and grants us all of what we need and most of what we want. "Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you." Because of God's love, you have enough.

Truth is if you treat others with the grace of God, and are satisfied with the life God has provided, then you too will be treated with grace and the abundance of community will come more and more.

If you judge others to be equal in God's eyes, then you will be able to live together in community.


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