“You seem really stressed out and intense, lately”, my wife graciously pointed out to me.
“No! I’m not intense”, I said, rather intensely.
It wasn’t until a few days later that grace broke through and I was able to see that for a good month or so I had been running furiously on a performance treadmill. I was functionally denying the gospel and bowing to an idol of control and self-sufficiency. I was doing what Paul Tripp says is like putting a hand in front of my face:
“Imagine that you have placed your hand, with fingers narrowly separated, in front of your face. When you attempt to look through your fingers, your vision is obstructed. As long as your hand is in front of your face, no matter where you turn to look, your vision will be altered by your fingers. So it is with an idol in my heart. It will exercise inescapable influence over my life. Wherever I go, whatever I am doing, the idol will influence what I do and how I do it. This is the reason God says, “It makes no sense for me to talk about anything else, because whatever I say somehow, some way, will be used to serve the idol that rules your heart. Therefore, I want to deal with your idolatry. That is my priority.” (Paul Tripp, Age of Opportunity, p30-31)
I am sure that I still have my hand in front of my face in certain areas. I pray that the Lord exposes these idols and lays them bare. But I know also that unless these idols are replaced with a firm fixation on Christ, I’ll settle for throwing my hand in front of my face.
Here is something to ponder…In what way does the truth of what Tripp is suggesting shape your relationships with other people? What role does a hand in front of the face play in our arguments with other people?