Highlands Blog

Idols Among Us

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Posted in Highlands Blog under Sanctification

 

I have a friend who has become obsessed with her health. And she’s not very sick. A little discomfort here and there. It is to the point that her husband is extremely frustrated with the amount of time she spends on research and the amount of money she spends on “experts” and the cornucopia of supplements. It has become her religion and by that I mean, the search for a cure is like a pilgrimage across a dusty land and this true believer will not be dissuaded by time or money or family obligations.

I track with that situation because I and my wife have been down this road. Our hope for her feeling well has led us to several doctors and a few quacks. It doesn’t seem as odd when it’s in your own home. The conclusion I came to is that is our thinking is that perfect health is only a discovery away. With enough research or testing or finding the right cutting edge expert, we can find that one thing that it all hinges on. It might be a gluten allergy or a mold sensitivity or a leaky gut. But health is to be ours!

Is this any different from the “Name it and Claim it” preachers? We know that God is a healer and a generous Father. But the sneaky underlying idea of intensive health and wealth quests is that God does not want us in any way to be feeling poorly or to struggle financially. We think that He has given us the solutions and we just have to follow a few steps and we’ll have heaven on earth. We think our goals for our lives necessarily become His goals for our lives.

I had a mentor back in seminary who was married with kids, maybe seven years older than me and I worked with him. He was always a good listener and as a godly man, an elder in my church I turned to him for his good advice. He was also a bit of a Eeyore. He was quite bright but had a fairly low paying job at the seminary.

Almost overnight he turned it all around. He changed his wardrobe, his hair style and had a good answer for all my concerns – AmWay! He had been born-again optimistic and the solution to all of life’s ills was The American Way company. I’m sure that it is a fine organization but it became his life and our relationship suffered because I was no longer a friend, I was a potential customer and if I didn’t see how this would change my life, then how else could he help me?

What’s wrong with wanting physical health or financial security? Nothing. Unless or until the creation replaces the Creator. Because we are sinful in every cell, we muck up everything. So we consistently turn something good in to an idol to be worshipped. Health is a good thing; Jesus’ ministry involved a lot of healing. We are also given lots of instruction in the Bible that, if followed, might just lead to wealth.

But we are under orders to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” Yes we will be healthy and have streets of gold—at some point. Not necessarily here and now. The quest for a good thing has become too often a turning from the one true quest and we’re likely to slip off one side or the other of this horse until the day we die.

Praying for wisdom helps.

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