In general, people aren’t much interested in any answer you offer if they aren’t asking the question it answers. I spent a summer working with Mormon missionaries, and it was useless to argue scripture with them. But when we talked about how difficult it is to be perfectly good—something their religion requires, which worries them quite a bit—they were quite open to hearing that traditional Christianity has no such standard. In fact, the idea unnerved them.
Yesterday’s post about “Satisfied Mind” implied something that I’d like to make explicit. Everyone, believer and unbeliever, has wrestled with discontentment. Everyone knows that contentment is the goal. Many at least suspect that desire can’t be quenched by feeding it—just the opposite—but they know it can be quenched somehow, and that quenching it is key to a happy life.
The words of “Satisfied Mind” as originally written proclaim a truth many would agree with—true earthly wealth lies in contentment—but they say nothing about how to achieve it. The song leaves the listener with a question: where do you get this satisfied mind?
A believer knows, of course. And so I like it that in the first three minutes we explore ground common to all men, raising a question that concerns us all, then we end with a very brief statement (four words) of our answer. It isn’t designed to persuade. It is designed to get the listener to entertain a thought, namely that the singers have found contentment in Jesus. The ground is prepared, and then a seed is planted.