Working in the mental health allows me to see people as who they really are and how they believe. If we are successful, we are able to pull the façade down that is placed for everyone else to see and get a glimpse of the real person. We all have our false fronts; things we do, things we say, ways we act in order to not let people know what is really going on. It is once I am able to get to the real person; I am able to challenge them on what is called “magical thinking”. This is where we have come to believe certain things about life, ourselves, others and God through our upbringing, that are not based on solid facts, but wishful thinking, misuse of the Bible, or catch phrases used through our time of development. This leads me to the story of a client, when challenged on his behaviors and thoughts would always reply “I got Jesus, I don’t needy anybody else”. Our last conversation is stuck in my mind forever and it is a mindset that many people have. It went like this:
Client: I got Jesus, I don’t need anybody else.
Me: You GOT Jesus, huh?
Client: Yeah! I got Jesus why do I need you or anybody else!?
Me: Well…where do you “got Jesus”
Client: Right here (pointing to his chest)
Me: Does He always stay there
Client: Yes – He never leaves
Me: So…when you are smoking marijuana, partying, using foul language, gossiping about others, and drinking alcohol; is Jesus still there?
Client: He never leaves me
Me: Hmmm…Wouldn’t it be better if Jesus had you?
Client: (Deer in the headlight look)
This conversation shows the kind of magical thinking that many possess. It is almost like the “God in a Box” skit I have seen many times. That is where we keep God in a box and only pull Him out when we need Him. All other times, we keep Him in the box so He can’t see what we are doing.
This gentleman had also incorporated the catch phrase from years gone by of “Got Jesus?” a spinoff of “Got Milk?” Through the years, his magical thinking skills had convinced him that as long as he had Jesus, he could live life as he pleased.
The point of my story is this; would it not be better if Jesus had us instead? For me, I surrendered my life to Jesus. I surrendered my heart; body and soul to Him for His glory not mine, so in reality, Jesus has me. I know we often get caught up in catch phrases, but these phrases are devices made from the human nature that rules our world. If used to often, they can distort the Truth and get us thinking into the wrong direction. Let us not forget what it says in 2 Peter 1:3-11:
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter gives us wise words and reminds us that God called us and chose us. In other words, “Jesus Got Us” not “I Got Jesus”. There is a big difference between the two. When we are in control, we only rely on Jesus in times of crisis or times of joy. When Jesus has us, he has surrounded us with His love and grace to help and guide us to life of righteous living. This goes along with another overused phrase today; “Jesus doesn’t want me to live a miserable life, He wants me to be happy”. I disagree with that statement. Jesus did not call us to be happy; He called us to be holy. In order to be holy we must be willing to suffer trials and tribulations, be willing to sacrifice for Him and suffer ridicule from others. None of this sounds like being happy. We allow ourselves to get caught up in the latest trends and we need to stop, think and reach for the Bible to see if this stands on solid ground or sinking sand. I don’t know about you, but “Jesus Got Me” and I don’t “Got Jesus”.