I’d Give Anything
You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return (I speak as to children) widen your hearts also. 2 Corinthians 6:12-13
In addition to my addiction medicine practice, I still work a few hours every week in Urgent Care, where I will often meet high school athletes with sports injuries. In conversation, I’ll usually ask, On a scale of 1-10, how important is your sport to you? For some of them, an ankle sprain and a week out of play is no big deal. For others though, missing the last game of their senior year is devastating. Football means everything to me. I’d give anything to be able to play.
I’ve been there. If you would have had the power to cause my team to win state football my senior year, in exchange for being dead five years later, I’m afraid that I might have taken the deal. It wasn’t that I was willing to work that hard for it at the time. I was actually kind of lazy. I would, however, have considered trading my future for it. Looking back, I can see how short sighted I was. Success in high school sports, wasn’t as big of a deal as I made it out to be. That which I thought would bring me the most satisfaction in life, turned out to be fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
It’s amusing with high school sports, but for a lot of us, this skewed perspective is a life problem that goes way beyond our teenage years. Many of us have an appetite for instant pleasure, which almost always requires some painful price to be paid later. We should find lasting joy in choosing to do right and follow God, but instead, we seek satisfaction in immediate gratification. Our problem isn’t that we want to be happy or that our appetites are too big – It’s not wrong to want to have a joyful life. Our problem is that our appetites are too small. We seek pleasure in food, drugs, pornography, shopping, or money when those petty little things can never truly make us happy.
In today’s passage, Paul spoke to the Corinthians as children, instructing them to grow up and widen their hearts. He’d say the same to us. If we truly want to find joy, peace, and meaning, then we must stop seeking it in our appetite for instant gratification. If we want to know authentic life, it’s found in abandoning our way to follow the father, the only one who can provide the answer for our life’s greatest needs.