See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy.
For many years, Cynthia Heimel was a columnist for The Village Voice. Her columns were tough-minded and snarky. She was also a playwright, an author, and a writer for TV. As such, Cynthia Heimel was in a superb position to observe individuals who dreamed of becoming famous. She was in a position to observe them both before and after they had achieved the status of “celebrity.”
One day she decided to write about what she had seen. “I pity celebrities,” she wrote. “No, I do. Celebrities were once perfectly pleasant human beings. But now their wrath is awful. You see, they wanted fame. They worked. They pushed. And the morning after they became famous, they all wanted to take an overdose. Because that giant thing they were striving for, that thing that was going to make everything ok…it actually happened. And the day after, they woke up, and they were still them. The disillusionment turned them howling and insufferable.”
It may be easy for us to smirk and roll our eyes at people who believe that being famous is the “giant thing” that will make everything ok. But what about us? What’s the “giant thing” in your life that you have presumed will do the same for you? Maybe it’s money. Maybe it’s pleasure. Maybe it’s status and success. Maybe it’s finding the perfect soulmate. Maybe it’s living for your children. Maybe it’s your Dream House. Maybe it’s retirement.
The Apostle Paul, in the Bible verse above, had a description for these “giant things.” He called them “hollow and deceptive.” In other words, if we expect the “giant thing” in our life to fulfill us, then we are setting ourselves up for disillusionment. Or even worse, the “giant thing” will actually deceive us into thinking that this is what life is.
But the “giant thing” is not the answer. Jesus is. Only Jesus can heal us by cleansing us of our every wrong. Only Jesus can fill that empty place in our lives with his Spirit. Only Jesus can give us “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.”
Lord Jesus, I have wasted much time on the hollow and deceptive things of this world. Wash me clean. Draw me closer to you. Amen.