Being a wedding photographer affords me the opportunity to hear an array of popular dance music, most of which I detest. However, there are a few gems in the mountain of rubbish which pop music comprises. For one reason or another, I’ve found myself oddly addicted to the two-chord song Moves Like Jagger by Maroon 5 with it’s catchy whistle melody and driving bass drum beat.
After listening and dancing to the song a number of times, I was struck by the lines I’ve put in parentheses below.
Baby it’s hard
When you feel like you’re broken and scarred
Nothing feels right
But when you’re with me
I’ll make you believe
That I’ve got the key
These lyrics hint at a problem that all human hearts encounter: the deep feeling of inadequacy. Notice how our lyricist perceptively detects the insecurity that, in this case, a young lady feels. She is “broken and scarred”, used by many men but loved by none. The cure to this disease offered by the song is the hope of fulfillment in this young man’s affections.
Inadequacy is alien to none of us. We have all come up woefully, embarrassingly short at one time or another. Whether it’s the moment that you missed the game winning shot, were turned down by the guy you had harbored a crush on for a year, or found yourself still jobless even after tons of applications and interviews, inadequate feelings are something we all share in.
The salves that we apply to these uncomfortable feelings are diverse but similar. Diverse in the sense that there are an endless amount of things we do to feel better, but similar in the sense that we are trying to satisfy an eternal soul with a temporal experience. Perhaps, if you’re the woman pictured in Moves Like Jagger, you will look for adequacy by becoming the object of a man’s sexual attention. But that is a flimsy patch for a gaping hole. It’s like trying to use FlatFix on a tire that has been completely shredded. At that point you aren’t even addressing the problem. No, our struggles with inadequacy can’t be fixed by mere carnal experience. We need something much more satisfying.
In the Bible, God addresses our struggle for lasting contentment. Psalm 4:7 reads: “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” This verse pictures two different people: the man who contents himself in God and the man contents himself in temporal experience (feasting and drinking). What’s striking here is that the man who seeks pleasure in the eternal God is more temporally satisfied than the one who seeks it in food and drink! The psalmist is not hoping for joy in the future, he has it right now even in the midst of shameful circumstances (Ps. 4:2).
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be content. In fact, the feelings of discontentment presently burdening us are whispers of the greater pleasures for which we’ve been made. The trouble is that our sinful hearts have distorted this desire by looking for relief in created things rather than the Creator. The invitation, then, is not just to flee from sexual experiences, drinking, eating, and so forth, but to flee toward God who satisfies.
And do you want to know the greatest thing? God’s pleasure in you is much greater than your pleasure in Him will ever be. You are the satisfying reward of Christ’s suffering (Isa. 53:11) and in your restoration God finds so much joy that He rejoices and sings (Zeph. 3:17)!
This experience of God’s affection is precisely what your soul needs to be satisfied. When it is, the offers of our dissipating world become repulsive and God becomes your true delight. Who would run into the arms of a guy who has “moves like Jagger” when the arms of the eternally-loving and all-satisfying God are open to them?