Mark Affleck

Stop HACKING and Get Out of Your Own Head!

April 26, 2021
Spiritual Growth

I have no idea how or why the term HACK has reached such lofty status in 21st-Century life. In the not-so-distant past, the term was reserved for someone doing something poorly or irresponsibly. You know…people doing a bad job playing their role as a news reporter or baseball player or wanna-be motivational speaker, to name but a few examples. NOT ANYMORE. Today we have life hacks to squeeze every ounce of “productivity out of living.” Tech hacks to overcome hard-to-understand programs. Organizing hacks to “improve life.”
Hack: A strategy or technique for managing one’s time or activities more efficiently.
Yes, there are hacks for everything—INCLUDING Christian hacks: Spiritual maturity hacks. Spiritual growth hacks. Spiritual discipline hacks.
The common thread running through ALL hacks is KNOWLEDGE. The planet’s information revolution has careened off its tracks to the point where information, by itself, is not even the point anymore. What matters is how information generates VALUE that makes something easier or better.
It is easy to understand the temptation that is enticing Christians to claim SPIRITUAL HACKS to deepen and broaden their faith. To get more comfortable and intimate with Jesus. To be sanctified and consumed by God’s righteousness.
But this is the point where our roll must be slowed:
More information turned into knowledge may not be what we always need to deepen our faith and believe with a CAPITAL B that God is in control and we aren’t.
It may be that to repent or grow or deepen our faith–or to believe that God is in control and we aren’t–we just need to GET OUT OF OUR HEAD. How do we do that? By doing more than just absorbing information and make sure we reflect on what he is telling us.
It is common for Christians to pounce on SPIRITUAL HACKS that promise to “paint-in” the missing parts of our faith picture. But only God can do that. And only after we get out of our own head and stop thinking about information and begin asking him for what it means.
More on this tomorrow. My mind is screaming at me: There is so much more here!
When I cannot figure something out in my faith walk, I ask God to keep me from falling for a SPIRITUAL HACK that promises to “make it easy.” To help me avoid the trap of living that kind of phony faith. Instead, I ask God to strengthen me to seek HIM for direction on how to deepen my faith—not what the world promises through the latest and coolest hack. To help me develop a RELATIONSHIP with him.
Are you using SPIRITUAL HACKS as transactions to get closer to God? If so, remember that we need to go beyond a TO-DO LIST and make sure we are developing a RELATIONSHIP with Jesus.
“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.” Matthew 7:13-14

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