This post is the result of a study I have been doing lately. It seems like that many people around the age of 30 are miserable in their jobs, state of life, status, acquired wealth, etc. I recently had a discussion with some friends about this issue, and I have come up with some conclusions that might help some of you who might feel discontented.
My generation’s (I turn the ripe age of 28 this year) grandparents are a part of the “greatest generation.” Our grandparents experienced the pain of the Great Depression and WWII. Due to their experiences, the majority of that generation was very tight when it came to how they raised their children. Ask most 40-60 year olds (my parents’ generation) what they received at Christmas and they will respond that they were given a piece of fruit. In fact, did any of you reading get fruit for Christmas growing up?
If you did, you got a job during the time when America really started to flourish. My parents’ generation went to college, got good jobs, worked up some type of corporate ladder, and became really well off financially. And since they got fruit for Christmas and shared beds with siblings and had to work while they were in school (while walking uphill in the snow both ways), guess what most of them did when they had their own children?
Those children (my generation) received everything they could imagine at Christmas. They had their own rooms, toys, and cars. Many of them weren’t required to work when they were in school because their parents remembered how hard it was.
And now, my generation is in the working world.
Many of them have been used to living in prosperity and never knowing what it was to go without. So they get a decent paying job out of college, but guess what? That decent paying job can’t afford the lifestyle that they grew accustomed to while they grew up. How do some of them cope? Some of the most popular options are: try to connive your way up to a higher pay scale or job title, get mad and quit to find the “perfect” job, jump from career to career, run up credit cards in order to keep up with the Jones’, or maybe some other dangerous tactic.
What does it lead to? Discontented adults who are trying to figure out why life just got harder.
Why am I posting on this topic? Because I want to encourage every person reading this that satisfaction can not come from a paycheck, title, status, house, car, or any other trivial thing this world has to offer. If you are trying to find your place in this world, and your motto is “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength,” then you need toread the verses before it:
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
And like my buddy, Ben Hjalmer, likes to say, “Sometimes you just got to man up and do what you got to do.”
O Christians, learn to be contented. Quiet yourself in the sufficiency of Jesus.