Do you suffer from affluenza? Some are you are wondering if this might be a new mutation of influenza commonly known as the flu. Some of you are thinking more practically – how much is that shot going to cost me and how long will I have to stand in line at Walgreens to get it? Calm down – take a deep breath – affluenza is not what it seems to be.
To put it in bottom line terms – it’s a condition in which you do what you want, when you want, and dare anyone to tell you no. When we put it that way – our first thought might be, “I think I know a whole bunch of people suffering from affluenza – in fact it may be an epidemic.” So many people today are living for themselves – trying to do life their way, on their time-table, daring anyone to get in their way. Affluenza is so prevalent in our society – it serves as a legal defense. Ethan Couch was a 16 year old who admitted to being responsible for the deaths of four people and the injury of 11 more. But his lawyers said he suffered from affluenza and was unable to tell the difference between right and wrong so he was given probation and some time in rehab. Trust me, you can’t make this stuff up!
The point I’m trying to make is: living life the way it seems right to you is a recipe for disaster. We need a cure from ourselves. The Bible tells us that even if the way we’re living seems like a good thing – it never ends well. The bad news is that if you’re suffering from affluenza – self-medication doesn’t work. (telling yourself you’re going to quit and do better doesn’t last) The good news is – Jesus has a cure. It’s not a shot and it doesn’t come in pill form. However, that doesn’t mean the cure is painless.
The cure Jesus has for affluenza involves several things:
It involves us abandoning our selfish agenda’s in life. Can we at least be honest with ourselves – what we’re trying to do – isn’t working. We already know that in the deepest part of our hearts. Abandonment means doing life differently – doing life Jesus’ way. (Mark 1:2,3)
The cure also involves something we’re not very familiar with – repentance. I know that’s a scary word that rip-snorting evangelists threw around from years gone by. But the word repent simply means put something down and turn away from it. I suspect that in all of our lives there are things we wish we could walk away from. But we either lack the will power or the true desire to leave it behind. So we carry it through life with us – pretending – we enjoy it – that it makes us happy – when all along we couldn’t be more miserable. Repentance gives us the power to walk away by inviting Jesus into the equation. He gives us a new perspective on our old life – and gives us the strength to lay it down and walk away.
Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. He knew we would need a cure. He came into this world to provide us with one. He not only gives us a way out of our current condition but he provides a better way of life.
Anyone can roll up their sleeve and take a shot – but it takes a real person of strength to admit their life isn’t working and they need Jesus. Do you want to be cured? Embrace the cure Jesus is offering!