The attention of the medical world has been arrested by a remote tribe that anthropologists stumbled across high in the Andes Mountains, because virtually everyone in this tribe has almost zero body fat regardless of how much they eat. They called in a team of doctors to determine the reason, and these medical professionals discovered that this tribe included in their diet a rare herb that grows only in that region, which they have named Slimoso, which increases their metabolism so as to burn off extra calories. They have now tested Slimoso on several other populations with the same result, and have reduced it to capsule form, prescribing one capsule a day. Eat anything you want and with just one capsule a day your body will maintain its ideal weight. In addition to writing this blog, I am helping people lose weight naturally and easily. I will send you a month’s supply of Slimoso free, just for the cost of shipping and handling, which is $35.99.
The reality, of course, is that if any of the easy weight loss programs perennially advertised on television actually worked, almost everyone would be on them and obesity would be nonexistent. We all remember any number of diet fads that have come and gone. The hard cold truth is that losing weight requires discipline. No pain—no gain, or in this case, no loss.
We find a similar phenomenon in evangelical circles. Across the years various spiritual Slimoso approaches have been advanced that enable believers to blossom into loving human beings without taking up one’s cross daily. Those advocating these techniques teach that we can become the loving persons God calls us to be by employing some spiritual technique that enables us to rise above the fray and catapults us to godliness. Various techniques have been advanced touted to produce this outcome, at times the same technique being referred to by different names.
One approach is framed in the expression, “Let go and let God.” This cliché suggests that rather than trying to be a loving person, the great need of the believer is to recognize that he is incapable of doing so, and that in response he must just let God do it. I have heard various testimonies to this effect that all went something like this. “I tried to overcome my pornography habit but just kept failing. Finally I came to the realization that I could not do it, and so I decided to stop endeavoring to do it myself and just let God do it, and as a result He freed me from this enslaving habit.”
Another such shortcut to godly living can be found in expressions such as, “It’s not in trying but in trusting.” The reason for spiritual failure resides in trying to live a godly life rather than trusting God to do it. Such effort reveals a lack of faith. Instead, we need to just rest in God and let Him do it.
Just like Slimoso, such approaches to a life of agape don’t work in the real world. The next two posts will provide the support for that assertion.