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This is part 4 of 4 in the Bad Advice sermonlink series. Find this and other pursueGOD.org sermons on YouTube here.

Do you want to live a pointless, isolated existence? If so, you must become dissatisfied with everything.

Bad Idea #1: Despise What You Have

“Less is more,” right? Wrong! If you want to be dissatisfied, remember that more is more, and you shouldn’t let yourself feel happy until you’ve gotten your fill. Ignore God’s gifts and tell yourself over and over how unhappy you are with what you have.

If you don’t want bad advice, the Bible gives good advice:

Matthew 6:33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

[Related: Harness the Power of Thankfulness]

Bad Idea #2: Desire Temporary Gain Over Eternal Treasure

Nothing is worse than investing in the kingdom of God. Instead, choose to live large right now. Adopt a materialistic worldview in which you view the here-and-now as the be-all, end-all. Stuff lasts forever and you’ll never die so it’s best to seek as much worldly gain as possible.

The Bible’s good advice teaches us to do the opposite.

Luke 12:21 Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.

Bad Idea #3: Develop the Art of Coveting

If you want to nurse your dissatisfaction, develop the art of coveting. Cultivate a strong desire for things and relationships that aren’t and shouldn’t be yours. Focus on coveting, and before you know it your dissatisfaction will cause you to steal, embezzle, commit adultery, and do all manner of unseemly things to satisfy your cravings.

The Bible’s good advice teaches us not to covet.

Exodus 20:17 You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.

[Related: The Secret to Slaying Envy and Jealousy]

Bad Idea #4: Devalue the People in Your Life

As you spiral downward, it’s important to devalue people. Spend as little time as possible with people and ensure that time is full to the brim with passive-aggression. Whatever you do, view those around you as leeches and obstacles, not as gifts and blessings.

The Bible’s good advice teaches us to treasure people.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude.

Bad Idea #5: Don’t Accept Responsibility

If you want to seal this deal, accept zero responsibility for your thoughts, intentions, and actions. If you’re dissatisfied, it can’t be because you have the wrong perspective. Things are as bad as you think they are, and you are the victim in all cases. Tell yourself that nothing is your fault, and let everyone else know, too.

The Bible teaches that we will all “reap what we sow.”

Galatians 6:7-8 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

Good Idea: Be Dissatisfied with Dissatisfaction

Hopefully you’ve realized that this “bad advice” is actually lies. The antidote to a dissatisfied life is not to ignore God, but to be satisfied in and changed by him.

Philippians 3:7-9 I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him.

The biggest lie of all is that Jesus is not sufficient. The truth is that he is more than enough. It’s not our circumstances that determine our satisfaction, but our relationship with him. God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him, and we’re better off for it, too.

Written content for this topic by Daniel Martin.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. Read Matthew 6:31-33. What are some examples you’ve seen in yourself or in others of “despising what you have?” Where do you think this ultimately leads?
  3. Read Luke 12:16-21. What are some examples you’ve seen in yourself or in others of “seeking temporary gain over eternal treasures?” Where do you think this ultimately leads?
  4. Read Exodus 20:17 and Matthew 5:27-28. What are some examples you’ve seen in yourself or in others of “coveting?” Where do you think this ultimately leads?
  5. Read 1 Peter 3:8-9. What are some examples you’ve seen in yourself or in others of “devaluing people?” Where do you think this ultimately leads?
  6. Read Galatians 6:7-8. What are some examples you’ve seen in yourself or in others of “not accepting responsibility” as it relates to being dissatisfied? Where do you think this ultimately leads?
  7. Read Philippians 3:7-11. Why does God want us to be satisfied?
  8. Is there a healthy side to “being dissatisfied?” What are some examples of what this might look like?
  9. John Piper has said, “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him.” What does this mean, and what should it look like in our lives?
  10. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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