I can be slow sometimes. Simplistic. Narrow-minded.
The big picture escapes me. I get lost in the details.
I suffer from a disorder called MTP or more commonly known as “Missing the Point.” I’ve had it all my life.
Let me give you one example of how it impacts my life. I have a Blaze Fitbit watch which keeps track of, among many things, my steps. My baseline goal is 10,000 steps per day. Good so far, right?
The problem is that I belong to a community, a support group. My oldest son and his wife, one of my sisters, and a few other family members and friends are part of this special support group. We can keep track of each other’s steps through our smartphones. The purpose of this support group is to provide mutual encouragement, to support each other in our daily quest to healthier living.
Did I mention that this is a support group?
Here’s the problem.
What is designed to be a place of encouragement becomes a place of competition. Who is leading the pack? And with this competition comes the ability to engage in smack talk. One can “taunt” another as easily as “cheer.” And what do you suppose happens in my support group? (I’m guilty!)
So the daily goal shifts from health maintenance-improvement to winning . . . beating others. (I hate to admit it—especially publicly—but I have found myself walking after 10:00 pm just to pass someone in my support group so I could come out on top!)
That is truly Missing The Point!
I certainly don’t want to project my issues onto others, but I have seen the same disorder among our recovering addicts reflected sometimes in statements such as:
• “I’m 38 days sober!”
• “I feel so much better about myself.”
• “I’ve learned how to control my anger and anxiety now.”
• “My relationship with my dad is being restored.”
• “I have a new sense of meaning and purpose.”
These are all wonderful things and should be celebrated, but what is conspicuously absent?
Hint: Life Challenge is a Christian recovery program.
There is no mention of Jesus in the above statements.
The goal of Life Challenge (and most importantly, the Christian life) is NOT merely sanity, behavior modification, moral reform, improved self-esteem, discovery of one’s purpose, or a host of other good and necessary things. The point is knowing and loving Jesus.
Of course, we want our residents to experience freedom from drug and alcohol addiction. We want them to learn essential coping strategies for dealing with stress. We want them to develop a biblically informed vision of the world, themselves, and their place in it.
But there is something else we desperately hope for each one of our men and women: We want them to them to know the love of God in Christ, to participate in this love, and to be a conduit of this love. This is the essence of recovery—Christian recovery—and the essence of Christianity.
But sometimes this point gets lost, and for no ill intent. Life happens. We get distracted. We’re busy. Good things—not just bad—can slowly begin to erode our relationship with Jesus.
And we start missing the point.
At Life Challenge, we have somewhat of an unspoken understanding. It’s called the 30-second rule. If you are sharing your testimony and don’t say the “J-word” (Jesus) in the first 30 seconds, something may be amiss. You may be veering from the faith. The Point may have gotten lost.
“The most important commandment is this . . .
‘you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul,
all your mind, and all your strength.
The second is equally important:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
No other commandment is greater than these.”
Hello Pastor Jeff
The more I live life the more I concure how vital it is to read and study the word of God everyday. Thank you for the reminder to stay focus on what is important to know what is not. Thank God for Jesus and His bread of life.
Because Jesus loves you, he put your sister in your life and “support ” group to help you with your health goals!?
Great thoughts, Jeff! Thank you for being a great example of one who loves Jesus and the people around you. Your words and life have long been an encouragement to me.