by Jeff Dominguez
There’s a reason why our hearts always feel empty. There’s a reason why we are always dissatisfied. There’s a reason why human relationships are messy. There’s a reason why we are always looking for that better kind of love.
In this article, I will present that reason.
Find X and Y
Do you remember doing algebra in high school? I’m positive that you do. How can we ever forget that moment when Math transitioned from being just about numbers to looking for Xs and Ys. I remember the funny joke: Math was easy until the letters came in!
But as a student, I understood the point of algebra; it was inspired by real life. In life, we don’t always have the facts or answers right in front of us. Most of the time, something is missing. To solve the problem, we need to find this missing factor. This is the X or Y that algebra is training us to learn how to find.
Now, the reason why I brought up Math is that there’s a thing called, The Love Equation. Just like algebra, there’s also a missing X in this equation. This missing factor is very crucial for, without it, the love equation is incomplete. And truth be told, this is the natural condition of the human heart. The Love Equation is embedded in our hearts and unfortunately, very few of us succeed in finding this missing X.
Before we proceed, let me share with you where I got the inspiration for this article. Last 2019, Francis Chan visited our church as a guest speaker. In his final message, he talked about the condition of the human heart. Though that wasn’t the main point of his message, that part has impacted me greatly. The second inspiration was this particular case where my co-ministry worker approached me to counsel her about her daughter. Her daughter was on a relationship spree. She will enter into a relationship then break up within a few months. At first, it was just boys but now, she is entering into relationships with lesbians. But even here, she continues that habit of entering and breaking out of relationships in just a short period. Her mother asked me about what could be the problem with her daughter. After hearing her story, I knew exactly what.
The Condition of the Human Heart
At this point, let’s hear what the Bible has to say about the condition of the human heart.
In general, the Bible’s description of the human heart is negative. The prophet Jeremiah described it as deceitful, desperately sick, and cannot be understood (Jeremiah 17:9-10). God also sees the negative condition of the human heart. He told the Prophet Ezekiel that the natural man has a “heart of stone” (Ezekiel 36:36) and that every intention and thought of it is only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Jesus also commented that all kinds of evil thoughts and actions come from the human heart (Mark 7:21-23). Clearly, the human heart has a problem.
Aside from its sick and evil condition, it still has another serious problem. Let’s look at these passages.
“As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man. Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied, and never satisfied are the eyes of man.”Proverbs 27:19-20
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”Ecclesiastes 3:11
If we examine these passages carefully, they seem to suggest that there’s a form of emptiness in the human heart. A condition where it is always longing for something. No matter how much it tries, it is never satisfied. It feels like there’s always something missing.
Combining this with the previous descriptions, we can safely conclude that the human heart is in a “taking mode.” It wants to take rather than give. It is naturally selfish and self-seeking. It is because we want to fill that void in our hearts. We want to find that missing X.
Again, all of us are looking for the missing X in our hearts. All of us are trying to solve the Love Equation.
In Math, it is accepted that there can be a number of solutions to any given problem. However, even if there are many ways to solve a problem, there is always only one correct answer. For example, there are many ways to calculate the diameter of Earth. But whatever method you use, there’s only one correct answer: 12,742 kilometers.
I brought this up because this is exactly the situation of humanity. All of us are trying to solve the same problem; all of us are trying to find the missing X. And just like Math, we are using different ways to solve this equation. To fill that void in our hearts, many of us have tried to find satisfaction in worldly pleasures like money, vices, alcohol, entertainment, pornography, and so on. Sadly, some went further and even tried illegal drugs and substances. Now tell me, just by observing the world around you, do you think man has found the missing X in these things?
Aside from worldly pleasures, this next one is the most abused: HUMAN RELATIONSHIPS.
We have popularized the notion that the missing X in our hearts is love. Well, somehow that’s true, but somehow it’s also wrong. Regardless, this is the reason why every human being is seeking love. We all want to be loved. While there’s nothing wrong with that, the problem arises when the selfishness of the human heart creeps in.
In his message to our church, Francis Chan used the example of the husband and wife relationship to demonstrate the problem of the selfishness of the human heart.
Remember, the default or natural state of the human heart is the “taking mode.” There’s an emptiness in our hearts that we are all trying to fill. When we enter into a relationship, we expect that our partner will fill that void. Unfortunately, they have forgotten that both of them are trying to fill their hearts. They are both taking from each other. One is expecting the other to do this or that, while so is the other. Francis Chan described this as being like a “Leech” that is desperately trying to suck out blood from others. And when their partners fail to fulfill their expectations, they become frustrated, disappointed, discouraged, and feeling empty more than ever.
Does this sound familiar? I’m sure it does, for this is the situation of almost all human relationships in the world today. We are leeches that are desperately trying to suck out blood from each other. This is the reason why human relationships are messy. We have that dangerous nature of putting more value on what others can do for us instead of what we can do for others. This is the problem of my co-ministry worker’s daughter that I mentioned earlier. The reason why she keeps on jumping from one relationship to another is that she’s trying to have that void in her heart filled by the unsatisfying love of her boyfriends. She keeps on looking for that someone who can satisfy the longings of her heart. Sadly, no man can ever do that for her. Human love can never fill the void in our hearts. It is a wrong solution to the Love Equation.
This is the correct solution.
“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
– GodJeremiah 31:25
Remember in Ecclesiastes 3:11, it said that God has placed eternity in our hearts. That is actually a clue to the answer. Since the void is eternal, therefore, only an eternal being can fill that void; and that is God.
This may come as a surprise, but the Bible has been revealing this to us ever since. Here are some of the passages in the Bible that speak of God’s overflowing love and why only through Him can we find true and lasting satisfaction.
“For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.”Psalm 107:9
“You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.”Psalm 145:16
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”Psalm 16:11
“And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”Isaiah 58:11
As God, Jesus also taught this about Himself:
“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”John 4:13-14
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”John 6:35
If you’ve noticed, God’s love doesn’t just fill the void in our hearts, IT OVERFLOWS. And because it overflows, the heart is now transformed from being in the taking mode to giving mode. God’s love is more than enough to satisfy our needs that it overflows and allows us to give some to others.
This is why we need God. Without God, we will be leeching one another. We will want others to fill the void in our hearts while they too try to fill theirs. It’s an endless, pitiful life of sucking one another. This just shows how desperately we need God. Imagine this, if more people get to know God and find satisfaction in Him, we will have more people in this world who, instead of the one’s taking, are the one’s giving. They are not thinking of what others can do for them. Instead, they are thinking of what they can do for others. Out of the overflow of God’s love in their hearts, they can love others and invite them to come to a saving relationship with God. Oh, what a beautiful world this would be if everyone would be like this!
Finally, we have solved the Love Equation. THE MISSING X IS NOT AN X; IT’S A CROSS. The hole in our hearts is shaped like a cross. Only Jesus can fill our hearts and make us complete.
I am hoping that this article has helped you understand what is wrong with your heart and has led you to the One who can truly complete and satisfy you. Always remember, God made us for Him. That’s why apart from Him, we are incomplete.