Do you have THAT thing?
You know what I'm talking about. THAT thing that will make you happy, or so you think. THAT thing that, if you had it, would ensure your significance and value. THAT thing that, if yours, would make sure you felt secure and safe.
In preaching through Galatians, it seems like THAT thing for the Galatian churches was their religion. It's a good salve, really. You feel like you're handling the holy while staying in control. It's the best of both worlds: something beyond myself that is still about myself.
Some people don't do religion. It's pleasure. It's money. It's power. In days gone by, it was statues or mountains or the ocean.
Here's the rub. We take on the characteristics of whatever we worship. And make no mistake, whatever the identity of THAT thing is, that's your object of worship. If it's not Christ, it's idolatry. But even worse, we become as empty as the idols we give our allegiance and affections to. What we behold is what we become.
Why do we pursue it? Because it provides anesthesia for our soul. We feel the ache. So we drink. We have the emptiness haunting us. So we try a lover. We feel the pain of our finite lives. So we earn and earn and earn.
Maybe those aren't your vices. Maybe you, like me, can't stand rejection and addict yourself to the approval of others, or at the very least their lack of disapproval.
The list could go on.
The lack of pain is no substitute for genuine healing. It can numb us, true. But we need more the next time around. And if we don't get healed up in the right way, the wounds fester and get misshapen and cause problems elsewhere in the system of our soul.
The only thing can heal your soul and mine is Jesus. It's by His stripes we are healed.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...