If you listen to the media there are always numerous new suggestions about how to make your life better: 10 steps to an organized home, 8 ways to improve your concentration, etc. We are bombarded with diet and exercise plans that supposedly will turn our bodies into the perfect specimen. Ads promote the ideal supplements or products that will solve our health or beauty woes. The list of potential products and procedures is endless and somewhat daunting.
Christians are not immune to such suggestions. There are numerous Christian websites, books, and guides out there that promise us spiritual renewal, healing, or a better life if we just follow certain steps or develop certain practices or attitudes.
While inherently there is nothing wrong with many of these items, they tend to make us focus on what we are lacking. With their focus on how to “fix” the inadequacies in our lives, these programs and products can lead us to feel dissatisfied and restless about the direction our lives are going or about who we are as people.
For example, my personal issue in recent years has been the pursuit of health information that will help me overcome my severe allergies. Wading through so much material is frustrating as many sources conflict with each other. How am I to know which is the best path to choose? Surely if I just choose the correct one then my health issues will be gone, won’t they?
Definitely, I have learned some helpful information along the way, it would be wrong to totally dismiss it all. What I have gained through reading and exploring all this information is a major sense of dissatisfaction. I am repeatedly faced with the fact that I am not good enough. If I just follow all these protocols I should be doing fine, but I’m not. Where do I place the blame – on myself. Surely, I missed a key detail or didn’t work hard enough and that is why I am still in the throes of these intense allergy attacks. It’s just too easy to get discouraged and want to give up.
It is similar with spiritual things. It is easy to go onto the next big thing, hoping that it will bring the peace and contentment I desire. Maybe if I just read this book or fix my prayer life all will be well. Yet, on any given day, I can compare myself to many Christians and think that I just don’t have what they do. Questions arise like: What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I do things right and have this wonderful Christian life like some of these Christian authors?
Can you relate to some of these feelings? It is very easy to get caught in the web of lies that Satan weaves, drawing us in with feelings of inadequacy and dissatisfaction. He loves it when we think inward and strive after things that really don’t matter or bring lasting satisfaction.
There is only one true self-help method that works – and that is believing in Christ as Lord and Saviour and His redemptive work in our lives. He is the only One who can fix the messes we make of our lives. He cleanses us from sin and makes us white as snow – no gimmicky products required.
We can have all the good resolve in the world but we rarely can totally keep to a regime that focuses on what we will do for success. We are a dissatisfied nation who consistently keep trying to find the next new thing that will be a smashing success and make us incredible people.
Well I have news for you – you are already incredible! God designed you – unique and wonderfully made. Relish in the care He provides you. Shine the light that He gives you and you will make an impact on others. Stop focusing on what is wrong with your life and look to the Saviour who changes your life.
I certainly have to take that advice myself. I know if I spent as much time in God’s Word as I do in worldly things trying to make my conditions better that my life would be significantly improved. No, my life will not be perfect this side of heaven. It will be better, though, with Christ as its center.