Last week Dianne received a call from someone wanting to sell her nutritional supplements. This person was an evangelist for that product and gave testimony to how ‘awesome’ these products have been in her life. Dianne explored some of what she was saying and this woman freely shared that she couldn’t be happy without her nutritional supplements to give her the health she desired.
She couldn’t be happy without them. That’s an idol. God is clear about idols.
“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
Dianne pointed out to her that eventually those supplements will fail her; her body will succumb, if not to disease then to the natural effects of time. But this lady could not see it; her happiness was tied up in her product. And it was more than her just representing the product – you can smell the difference between a salesperson and a true believer after awhile.
The temptation for all of us, of course, is that when we find something that ‘works’ for us – drugs, supplements, therapies, diet changes – we want to share it with everyone! And that can come along with the unstated expectation that if you don’t do what I’ve done, you don’t really care about your family as much as you should.
We have friends in the disability community who are all over the spectrum with regards to the use or not of medicines, medical technologies or nutritional supplements to address disease and disability in our families.
Talk about an opportunity for emotional fireworks!
Fortunately, there is a respect amongst our group that each of our situations is unique and that God will help us address our situations as we discern best. Sometimes that means looking for advice from friends in similar situations; sometimes it means exploring other ways to address issues. We aren’t perfect at it and feelings can get hurt. But I’m grateful when I think about how much God has helped us maintain relationships.
And the source of that help is God as the center of our hope. When God is the center of our hope, we can be generous with each other and prayerfully dependent together even when we are attacking the physical suffering in our lives in different ways.
It also means we can be courageous when necessary. Dianne shared with this woman that some of the things she was doing are sinful! Like positioning the product as a cure for cancer or Down syndrome.
Or worse, like centering happiness and hope in a product that, at best, will make this vapor’s breath life a little longer when the reality of our own sin and eternity is staring all of us in the face.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13