I’m amazed at how quickly we can turn away from things that we love when there is even minor discomfort. Yesterday I went in to the dentist and had some fillings done, which made my teeth super sensitive. And because of that, because of the discomfort I was able to give up cold things like soda and ice cream almost immediately. The negative reinforcement of pain was enough to stop these indulgences.
I marveled at how easy it is to stop, given those circumstances, when perhaps I’ve been trying to stop for years. We get to see this on a larger scale from those who suffer from diabetes, or have experienced a life threatening event like a heart attack and are told they need to change their lifestyle. All of a sudden they see what is at stake, they value their life more than cheeseburgers. And seeing what’s at stake they change.
Why does it take a traumatic event like this to cause us to change?
Because we love comfort, and “we want what we want.” It is only when our eyes are opened and we see the consequences or our actions that we start to change. We have a revelation, so to speak.
And to what does this ultimately point? What is the most shocking and traumatic event in all of history?
The Cross of Christ
This single event in history that is meant to change our hearts from self-centeredness to other-centeredness. When we see the consequences of our actions…our sins…nailed a man to a cross, and not just any man, but the best man that ever lived, the most kind, the most honest, the most integritous, the most noble, the most loving man to ever live, indeed the God-man. And this is love the bible says (1 John 4:7), shocking love.
It his him for us.
It takes something shocking to rattle us, to wake us up, to get our attention because we are so drawn into ourselves. It takes something radical to change us. God knows us all to well.