Late last year I began reading the Tullian Tchividjian book “Jesus + Nothing = Everything“. I am almost done with it, and I can tell you, without question, it is ranks among the top books that have greatly impacted my life. Pastor Tullian begins by taking the equation and working it backward. By the time you get to the “Nothing” part of the equation Tullian has asked the reader twice to consider what that variable “Nothing” is for you. Here is a quote from the book:
So let me ask you once more, as you get quiet and still: Deep within you, where is that restlessness, that agitation, that impatience, that anxiety? Why is it there? What is it you’re missing, and you’re trying to fill the gap? (Jesus + Nothing = Everything (p. 44). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition)
Taking the authors advice, I prayerfully considered the “Nothing”. According to Tullian, Jesus wants us to make the connection of the “Nothingness” with idolatry. What am I trying to add to this eternal equation?
After much prayerful consideration I believe God has lead me to the answer of my nothing variable. In my life I have put way to much focus on the acknowledgement from those friends and family members around me. It didn’t take me long to uncover the source of what consistently causes me restlessness, agitation, impatience, and anxiety. Desiring acknowledgement is definitely a human trait. Most of us wish to be acknowledged. It hurts when you put yourself out there by taking the initiative to vocalize, or author (blogging?) an opinion, statement, or truth. When you don’t receive the acknowledgement you have built some expectations over, it is painful. But, I believe, when it becomes like the things described by Pastor Tullian, especially to the extent of it becoming that variable to the equation like mine:
Jesus + Acknowledement from men = Everything
This is idolatry.
Idolatry is trying to build our identity on something besides God. An idol is anything that’s usurping the proper place of God in our lives. An idol is anything or anyone that you conclude, in your heart, you must have in order for your life to be meaningful, valuable, secure, exciting, or free. (Jesus + Nothing = Everything (p. 40). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition)
So as I continue to read this influential book with this eye opening revelation, I can read with with full knowledge of this sin in an effort with the Holy Spirit to take it head-on in the trenches. With the strength provided (Phil. 2:13) I will be able to knock this sin back for a 25 yard loss. (Sorry, it’s College Bowl Game Day) Lord willing it can get knocked out of the game completely.
More to come.
Soli Deo Gloria!!