What Missionaries Ought to Know about Dissatisfaction

  • Approximate Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Partner: MissionaryCare.com

What Missionaries Ought to know… does not mean that the author sat down and decided what missionaries ought to know, but that missionaries themselves asked about these topics. During the author’s 35 years of college teaching he learned that if one person asks a question, others probably want to know the same thing—and if two people ask, it was certainly a topic that others need to know about. These are things missionaries need to know because several missionaries have asked about each of them at one time or another.

To read more from the What Missionaries Ought to Know series

Partner: Grow2Serve

Resource Description


Bill and Bev had completed their first four-year term on the field, and they were rather dissatisfied. As they talked together, they realized that neither of them had much satisfaction from serving as missionaries. They were still in love, but they were both disappointed with the way their marriage was going. They both loved their children dearly, but they were not nearly as excited about being parents as they were before they became missionaries. In fact, they had less interest in missions than they had before they served as missionaries.

They tried to think of why this had happened. Had they mistaken God’s call? Should they change fields or agencies? Should they just stay “home” and become attrition statistics? They finally decided to see what the Bible had to say about dissatisfaction and satisfaction.

What does the Bible say?

To their surprise the word “dissatisfaction” did not even occur in the Bible, at least not in the translations they had. They found many passages about satisfaction, but most of them were in the Old Testament. Some of the verses were relevant, especially those in Psalms and Proverbs.

Again to their surprise, the New Testament had very few references about being satisfied, and most of those were about eating until one was satisfied. That was little help for their confusion about their own general dissatisfaction, and they began to wonder.


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