Jesus Cheeseballs and God Sprinkles
For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
Last Easter, a friend sent me a photo of the Easter version of some cheese balls which he’d purchased. I found it curious that this company used the death and resurrection of Christ to promote their cheesy, crunchy snack. The Easter egg themed packaging was apparently a good marketing ploy designed to convince us that we need Jesus cheeseballs in our lives. Maybe I’m cynical, but it seemed obvious that the company was simply using a Christian holiday in a commercial endeavor to make more money.
This use of God for blatant self-interest may be amusing with Jesus cheeseballs, but we do this kind of thing all the time. We often attempt to use God for our own self-interest, without truly seeking his interests.
In working the 12 steps, the addict is told he must turn his life over to God. He may accept that he needs God to find recovery, but that’s really the only jurisdiction he’s willing to give. He doesn’t truly turn his life over. He just wants God to help with that one problem. So, he may get sober, but he never allows God to touch his greed, sexual immorality, pride, anger, resentments, gambling, or selfishness. He wants the destruction of the addiction gone, but he doesn’t want God to invade his entire existence. So, he just sprinkles a little God on top of his life. Everything else stays the same. Then, when he refuses to give up his gambling or inappropriate sexual relationships, he is inevitably led back to drugs by those things that he allowed to remain in his life. He may feel God abandoned him at this point, but it was in fact, he who held God at a distance.
It’s easy for me to see this in others. The problem of course, is that I do it too. When I find something is causing me pain, I bring it to God, asking for help. He doesn’t want just one problem though. He wants all of me. Often though, I want only the one little thing fixed. I just want a little God sprinkled on my life, while I keep everything else the way it is.
Paul pointed out the futility of this in today’s passage. He said that Jesus can’t coexist with evil. We can’t follow our way and God’s way at the same time. The two are mutually exclusive and if we try to just sprinkle a little God on top of our lives to make it look good, we will fail. If we truly want transformation, we must daily abandon our way to follow his.