It’s easy to see symptoms, right? We put bandages on cuts. We take ibuprofen for headaches. We drink energy drinks with loads of caffeine. We’re addressing the symptoms but we’re not really dealing with the deeper issue. We’re deferring time or deflecting attention so that we can move on with whatever feels urgent right now. We are all susceptible. We are all guilty. But how long does it go on before we pull down the wall and take the time to do the hard work of trying to deal with the real issues?
What I mean is this… maybe you don’t need to take two Advil every morning with your four shots of espresso. Maybe you need more sleep. Maybe you don’t need to buy fourteen tubes of toothpaste just because it was on sale. Maybe you need to deal with the pain of losing your son. Sometimes life just sucks. So why pretend that it’s fine when sometimes it just isn’t?
The Apostle Paul sent lots of instructions that would help shape Timothy into the leader he needed to be. He warned him against people who would try to maneuver into position using money. Money was their distraction. It was a bandage. For some of us it still is. But for most of us it’s something else. And in 1 Timothy 6:17-21, Paul gets to the point. He says, “Tell those rich in this world’s wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage—to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they’ll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life. And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk-show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith.”
Be careful when you get caught up in the chatter that you’re not missing the point. Get to the source. Don’t be distracted by smoke and mirrors. Don’t miss the point. Jesus even warned us there will be those who say, “But Lord, I did all these wonderful things in your name,” and that He’d still say that they missed the point. His point is that doing is not the end itself. It’s knowing. Knowing Him and what He cares about and following Him into the world. Doing is born out of knowing. Not the other way around.
What are you deflecting? How are you missing the point? Maybe it’s time to deal with it.