When there’s something about the Gospel we don’t understand or get, it results in us clinging to what can be called as a Functional Savior.
We are all prone to embrace a functional savior to reach some kind of functional heaven.
Since we are masters at self-deception, we hold on and protect them. They can take many forms. From self-destructive addictions to harmless stuff that would be fine if they weren’t dependent on it.
A functional savior could be “television, family, friends, sleep, caffeine, partying, not partying. Eating, not eating. It could be career, fashion, investment accounts, approval of others, material possessions, peer status, good looks, recreation, spectator sports, having a clean house, or working out at the gym. It could be just about anything, including moderate living, asceticism, philanthropic giving, or even ministry.” (Jerry Bridges, Bookends of the Christian Life)
Here are a few statements with blanks to help us uncover functional saviors that can replace our Exclusive Savior.
1. If only I can ________, then I would really be happy.
2. I get my sense of significance from ________.
3. I would protect and preserve ________ at any cost.
4. I fear losing ________.
5. The thing that gives me greatest pleasure is ________.
6. When I lose ________, I get angry, resentful, frustrated, anxious, or depressed.
7. For me, life depends on ________.
8. The thing I value more than anything in the world is ________.
9. When I daydream, my mind goes to________.
10. The thing that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning is ________.