If my reputation were destroyed. If my name were shattered and everyone who’s opinion I cared about most began to think I was a joke.
If my family were taken away from me. If the the deep and abiding love of my wife and children were somehow lost to me.
If all my material comforts were gone. If television and good food and my house and the internet and books were all taken away. If I had none of my first world diversions or enjoyments or hobbies.
If my job any my ministry and my vocation fell apart. If I had no obvious successes, and after 20 or 30 or 40 years, nothing had worked out as I’d hoped. If everything I’d tried to build landed flat, and I was branded a failure.
If all the lives I’d wanted to see changed seemed simply static. No growth. No healing. No apparent revival.
If everything were taken from me but Christ, would He be enough for me to live on? Would I feel like I still had my one most precious thing? Would I be content despite my sadness, because I still had the thing my heart feasted most on: The love of my Savior?
Your inner impulses run like little workers on a sinking ship to protect whatever your deeest treasures are. When whatever it is you most love, the thing you find the most peace and joy and satisfaction in, is being threatened, you’ll your nerves and behaviors all scurrying to protect it, to patch the hole and make sure no water breaches the hull there. You can feel it when you lash out in anger over your reputation being damaged. You can feel it when you protect at all costs your time in front of the TV. You can feel it when you ignore prayer or family or work for social media and internet videos. You will protect and gravitate toward whatever you most treasure, whatever you most enjoy.
So am I worshiping idols? Or is He that treasure for me?
Do I ask family or reputation or comfort to bear all the weight of my soul and my hope? Or would He be enough?
I’ll answer in private. And in prayer. But I thought hearing the question might benefit some of you.
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.