When Your Decision-Maker is Broken
If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4
I recently heard an alcoholic say this about going to treatment – I had to drink a pint of vodka just to get up the courage to go. I had to laugh at his painful honesty. His experience wasn’t that unusual of course. It’s common for someone to have one last hit of their drug before going through detox. His blatant candor though, revealed the finest thinking of the addict. At least he made the decision to go. Up that that point, his story involved so many bad life choices that it seemed his decision-maker was permanently broken.
I’ve been there. Losing my job and going to treatment wasn’t just one poor choice. My disaster was 15 years in the making, starting out with little self-destructive decisions that snowballed. In the downward spiral, my addictive behaviors became normal as I was blinded by my own toxic thinking. My mind became poisoned as I pursued the drug above everything else. My pills became my god and they in turn, blinded me to reality. It took painful consequences to open my eyes to finally see where I was and what I’d become. This is often the case. As I follow my way, I think I’m pursuing self-fulfillment, but making a god of my will is the surest route to blindness, broken decision making, and slavery.
For most of us, this doesn’t involve drugs. Drugs are an obvious disaster, which usually alerts the addict to the issue. The problem for a lot of us is what Paul was getting at in today’s passage. Many of us live in spiritual blindness, the nature of which, prevents us from even being aware of our problem. We go through life, living for ourselves, causing misery up on misery, never being satisfied, and we don’t know why.
We’ve made a god of our own will, following it above all, and in doing so, we’re blinded to the truth – that we must abandon ourselves to follow God’s will if we ever want to know life, joy, and peace. We may think that, as Christians, we’re immune and that the gods of this world cannot blind us. If the devil can convince us though, that we cannot fail and we cannot be blinded, then his job is mostly done. If we truly believe in Christ, then we must daily ask him to open our eyes, showing us where and how we need to abandon our ourselves to follow him.