Treat the source, not the symptoms

I have a confession to make and have decided to do it publicly, using this blog post as my medium.

Over the summer, I developed an addiction.

I think, at this point, I have it under control.  But, it times of convenience or apathy, I can succumb to it’s invitation.

As with all addictions, it started small and with something harmless.  This time, the gateway drug was a free trial – 30 days of Netflix at no cost.  And it came at an opportune moment – on vacation when there are six people sharing one hotel television.

After watching a couple of movies, my addiction went to new levels when I stumbled upon a show I hadn’t watched before – Blacklist

After only one episode, I wanted to know what was next for Red Reddington, Agent Keen, and the entire cast.  Indeed, I was hooked.

I’ll admit, it feels so much better to get that out there.

I bring this up to make a point – and it isn’t about addiction.  And no, I’m not really addicted (once I get through season 4 so that I can catch up with current episodes, that is).

Somewhere along the way (in fact, I think it’s actually in season 4), Red is poisoned.  He has less than two days to live, so the scramble is to figure out exactly what the poison is and how to attack it.

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I’ll spare you what took an entire episode to unearth: the evil person that created the poison makes his living on tailoring such things to the individual.  If the target has an allergy, the poisonous effects are intended to mimic allergic reactions.  This is so as to keep the actual poison from being detected while also causing medical personnel to prescribe treatment that won’t be effective.

In other words, they end up treating the symptoms, not the cause.

 

So, what’s the point, you ask?

The point is – welcome to America, circa 2017.

We have all kinds of symptoms that we are told need treatment.  See if you’ve heard any of them:

  • Gun violence
  • Racism
  • Treatment of minority groups
    • African-Americans
    • Immigrants
    • LGBT
  • Gender identification
  • Heritage vs. History
  • Patriotism
  • Freedom of religion
  • Hate

I’m sure there are others.  And, I’m not asking for public justification of any of them.  I have my opinion on most of them, just like you.  But, sharing them means I’m helping to treat the symptoms, not the cause.

The root cause of all of these is both simple and difficult, all at the same time.  It is the both the lack of and the complete disregard for the One True King.  Plain and simple.

In the garden, Eve (followed shortly by Adam) created a division between man and God by committing the world’s first sin – she disobeyed God (Basically, Genesis – Chapter 3 – if you want a brush-up).  Since then, every human being is born with a sinful heart and nature that only a trust in and commitment to God can be given grace for.  Make sure you understand that you’ll never be cured of your sinful nature this side of eternity.  But, you can encounter God’s grace.

Since we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), how can we expect other humans to behave as if they have encountered God’s glory without it?

I’ll wrap up what could quickly become a rambling rant with this quick point:

If you are a child of God, do you comment/post/share as much about the only Hope that humanity has as you do about a number of other things (national anthems at ballgames, teams not signing certain QBs, flags and statues, police response(s) to situations, the 2nd amendment, plays that your high school football coach calls on offense, etc., etc., you get the point)?

If you aren’t a follower of Christ, let me apologize for any moment you couldn’t look at me, listen to me, or otherwise know that I am.  He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life. . . no one comes to the Father except through Jesus.” (John 14:6)  I’d be glad to get a text/email/call from you to explain more if you don’t know who else to ask.

Bottom line – America has a sin problem.  America has a lack of Jesus problem.  Treat these causes instead of all of the symptoms that the enemy is using to throw us off.

In Acts, when Peter and John are confronted about sharing about Jesus, here’s what happened:

So they called for them and ordered them not to preach or teach at all in the name of Jesus.  But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide;  for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”  – Acts 4:18-20

Once your eyes have seen and your ears have heard, surely you can’t stop speaking about Him.

For those of you looking for an update on our family, thank you for your prayers and your friendships.  We are still hurting and likely always will be to some extent.  It’s a hole that will never completely close up.  But, I have the Blessed Assurance that one day I will hold him again.  And not because I live a good life, but because of the Hope I have in Christ Jesus. Until then, Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

 

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