When I first heard the title of Amy Simpson’s latest book, I was immediately intrigued: Blessed Are the Unsatisfied: Finding Spiritual Freedom in an Imperfect World (InterVarsity Press, 2018).
Of course, our world is imperfect. And who wouldn’t want to find spiritual freedom? But how does that relate to being unsatisfied, and where is the blessing in that?
I appreciate the way Amy unpacks this topic by sharing her personal story, drawing on Scripture, and carefully defining her terms throughout the book.
For her, satisfaction is
a deep, overriding, constant, soul-deep satisfaction that removes all our longings and conquers our human limitations. (page 5)
While we may have moments of satisfaction and experience great fulfillment and meaning in life, we still live as imperfect people in an imperfect world that cannot fully satisfy.
This reality may lead to dissatisfaction:
For dissatisfied people, no amount is enough. No thing is adequate. No person is acceptable. Everything falls short because dissatisfied people either expect too much or simply refuse to be pleased. (page 41)
Instead of relentlessly pursuing satisfaction or living dissatisfied, Amy encourages us to live intentionally unsatisfied–to recognize that we are not meant to be fully satisfied in this life, to accept that our longing for more is a sign of spiritual life, to appreciate that “unsatisfaction reminds us we need God.” (page 22)
When we choose to live unsatisfied, we remain open to our longing for what is far better than what we have, while we abandon the quest to find or manufacture it for ourselves. We embrace current reality in light of our future reality. We accept what we cannot change, knowing someday it will change dramatically. (page 145)
In this, there is much blessing, which Amy defines as “good things intentionally given” (page 57). As we live unsatisfied, God intentionally gives us new perspective, focus, growth, vision, a sense of anticipation for the future, and much, much more.
I’m still mulling over what it means to live unsatisfied and yet be content; to accept that life does not always go my way, yet still experience joy and fulfillment; to realize that this life is not all there is, yet still find meaning and purpose in it.
This is an excellent book to ponder on your own or with a group, and this week I’m giving away a free copy. To enter the draw, just leave a comment below in response to the Writing/Reflection Prompt. Entries close on Saturday, July 14, midnight (Pacific Time).
Writing/Reflection Prompt: The author defines blessing as “good things intentionally given.” What blessing are you thankful for today? Leave your response in the comments to enter the draw for a free copy of Blessed Are the Unsatisfied. I’d love to send it to you!
Thank you to InterVarsity Press for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. As always, the choice to review and the opinions expressed are my own.
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