Children are good at exploring. But sometimes their curiosity leads to painful lessons. Take the toddler who sticks out his tongue to “taste” a frozen lamp post. Ouch! It’s not fun to peel your tongue away from a subzero piece of steel.
Spiritual writers sometimes use the word attachment to describe what happens when we become so stuck to things or to people that these connections separate us from God. Because we’ve given our hearts to them, we are not free to give our hearts to God.
Chuck De Groat points out that attachment describes “a heart ‘nailed’ to something or someone, bound to it, enslaved to it.”1
I think that’s a pretty good picture of what can happen when we commit our affections to things that lead us away from Christ. It could be anything—pleasures, relationships, expectations, beautiful objects, money, success, food. We humans are good at stuffing ourselves to the brim with all kinds of substitutes. The trouble is, they never satisfy our longings.
The bad thing about getting stuck to anything except God is that we lose our freedom. If you feel dissatisfied, ask yourself whether you might be attached to something—or someone—that is interfering with your relationship with God. If the answer is yes, turn to God, asking him to free you. It may be that some difficulty or challenge will form the environment for God to free you. Whatever the circumstances, be willing to do what it takes to regain your freedom in Christ.
- Chuck DeGroat, “Risk Much. Fail Often. The Wisdom of the Desert,” The New Exodus (blog), August 26, 2009, accessed November 30, 2017, http://www.drchuckdegroat.com/2009/08/risk-much-fail-often-the-wisdom-of-the-desert/.