The Secret To Life …

… is that there isn’t one.

How did you respond to the “end of the world” predictions last week?

I couldn’t decide whether to chuckle or cry.

My personal inclination was humor. I joked about not paying bills, taking an insanely expensive vacation on credit—the sort of silliness that’s born of simply not taking something seriously.

But I read about folks who DID take it seriously, who were misled and scammed in a variety of ways. People made horrible, life-destroying decisions based on a terrible lie. I’m sad that they were so easily misled; it’s difficult to poke fun at that kind of weakness.

Why do “they” fall so quickly into these kinds of traps? A nice, comfortable question—except that it’s not “they.” I’m certainly guilty of seeking the formula, the right way, the easy answer. I suspect I’m not the only member of that circle.

Snake Oil

Self-help books, magic medications, revolutionary diets or workout programs—someone always has the new treatment, the hidden recipe, or the innovative method that unlocks the door to whatever we’re after.

Christians aren’t immune. Sadly, churches and individual preachers have preyed upon desperate, vulnerable believers with all kinds of lies, false teachings, and “personal” revelations. Whether they seek power, control, or financial gain, these “leaders” mislead people into a false sense of how God operates—frequently with an “800” number on the TV screen for donations.

The Bible isn’t a book of secrets and codes. God didn’t hide the key to His word inside some magic cipher to be decrypted by His chosen messenger. He gave His word to everyone, and He sent His Word to everyone—no mystery decoder rings required.

I don’t know Harold Camping or his motives. I don’t know if he sought to profit in some way from his misguided predictions. Perhaps he sincerely believes his words—if so, it’s sad, because he’s sincerely wrong.

Dangerous Sincerity

That’s the thing about sincerity—you have to be careful not to confuse it with truth. The men who crashed airplanes into buildings on 9/11 sincerely believed they were doing God’s will—and they were sincerely, horribly, tragically wrong.

Those folks who want to peddle the secret to life—many are hucksters, scam artists selling snake oil. Some may sincerely believe in what they’re selling. Doesn’t matter.

The secret to life is…there ain’t one. There’s no formula, and what worked yesterday may not work today.

There’s no “easy” button.

We were designed for relationships and for love. If you want my formula for perfect, never-failing, always-intimate relationships, just send $19.95 to …

Or talk to God. He designed relationships—and us. He might have some ideas about working them out.

What’s one area of life in which you tend to seek a formula that probably isn’t there?

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Copyright 2010 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

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