Tim Keller | November 6, 1994
Open Forums are specifically designed for skeptics or those wrestling with the claims of Christianity. Each Open Forum included a brief concert by guest artists followed by a talk and open mic Q&A with Timothy Keller. This audio recording includes the talk only.
The story of Richard Cory, a rich man who was very unhappy, helps us understand that true happiness doesn’t come from ignoring our unhappiness. Instead, it comes from understanding and dealing with our feelings of discontentment. This can be done through a four-step process that leads to a deeper understanding of life’s purpose.
1. You must stop denying the magnitude of your unhappiness
The first step in understanding life’s purpose is admitting that we’re unhappy. We often think that success, popularity, and wealth can make us happy, but they can’t fill the emptiness inside us. Realizing that material things and achievements can’t satisfy our deep longing for something more is important for personal growth.
2. You have to start facing the nature or the character of your discontent
When we admit we’re unhappy and discontent, we start to see our deep desire for something eternal, something beyond our mortal lives. This longing is common to all people, believers and non-believers alike. It’s important to face this longing and work to satisfy our inherent desire for something greater.
3. Start questioning the origin of your discontent
Our desire for something beyond our mortal lives is strong and often confusing. Some people try to deal with it by blaming others or themselves, but this doesn’t really help. The best way to deal with it is to explore where this desire comes from. Doing this can lead us to realize that our deep longings point towards the existence of God.
4. Come to Jesus for the healing of your discontent
Feelings of unhappiness and loneliness can come from feeling guilty or sinful. However, the letters of Paul in the Bible tell us that we can find contentment in any situation through Jesus Christ. He frees us from guilt and brings us closer to God. Recognizing our need, understanding who Jesus is, questioning where our discontent comes from, and opening ourselves to Jesus are important steps towards spiritual healing and acceptance.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer