Doctors have their ways of providing a diagnosis given symptoms that one may be experiencing.
For years, Lindsey and I watched House M.D. come up with the diagnosis that nobody else could figure out…usually with the help of a series of home investigations, ruling out sarcoidosis, and a steady supply of Vicodin.
Reading Scripture should be a diagnostic measure for us, which may be why some just don’t read. It also has the prescription (no, not more cowbell) for what ails you.
Galatians 5:14 reminds us that all of the Old Testament, like, all of it, is fulfilled/made complete/rolled up in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself. The diagnostic? Well, I could simply ask, are you loving your neighbors? But let me press a bit more.
I am reading A Mile Wide by Brandon Hatmaker (Jen’s husband)–and I’ll just say, phenomenal. It may be the best book on spiritual formations/spiritual reconstruction I’ve ever read.
Brandon points to the signs of a heart that is being transformed by the gospel, and one such sign (symptom, if you will) is: “People stop annoying you because you see their brokenness and identify it with your brokenness” (p.39).
- How often are you annoyed by people?
- What kinds of people annoy you?
- What triggers that ‘please get away from me’ knee jerk in your mind?
- How much of someone can you take before wanting to punt them?
These are the questions that help identify whether our hearts are sick. Sick with superiority. Sick with self-centeredness. Sick with envy.
So how much, how often, why, etc., do people annoy you? Take it to the Lord, dear son or daughter.
Did I hear someone say more cowbell?