Of course that sounds great doesn’t it? It sounds comforting and logical.
But it’s a lie.
We don’t have a God-shaped hole.(Tweet that here)
First off, the term implies there are other parts of us that either are already complete in God – or worse, don’t need God.
How much of what we believe is simply about lacking something and trying to fill that lack?
We lack love, and so we try to fill it with sex or relationships.
We lack meaning and purpose, and we find it in religion, church or our work/vocation.
We lack the attention of others, so we reach out and try to make friendships to fill that gap.
Everything we do seems to be simply filling a gap.
Filling a gap is not the best way to be human. It’s the consumer way of being human.
All good marketing people will tell you the best way to get someone to purchase their product is to open their minds to something they are lacking – which only their product can fill.
This has become such a part of Western culture that is has rewired our brains to automatically think this way.Our brains have been so indoctrinated into thinking like this we don’t even realise we’re doing it.
Inevitably, this has spread to religion. Much of Christianity has boxed itself into the law of consumerism. It has become another product which sells itself to fit a hole in your life.
Consumer-church says the problem is sin, the answer is salvation and relationship with Jesus. It’s simple enough.
Christians tell unbelievers there is something wrong with their life, a gap, a lack – and Jesus is the filler of the gap, the plug in the hole.
Jesus is reduced to a plug.
So actually, what we think is faith in Jesus is actually faith in another product of consumer culture. It’s just something to fill a hole which doesn’t exist.
With this kind of faith, we’re not defined by God, or what we are. We’re still being defined by consumerism – by what we aren’t. That’s what the religion of consumerism is all about, telling us what we aren’t, don’t have and what we need.
This isn’t the way of Jesus.
The reality is, He doesn’t instantly make it all alright. Our lives don’t become easy. Not every Christian story ends happy ever after like the consumer/Christian/Hollywood ideal.
God is bigger than this consumer box we’ve tried to fit Him into.
Our need for Him is not just in one part of who we are.
It’s in all of who we are.
I do appreciate the irony here. I’m telling you the consumer way of seeing Jesus is wrong – therefore creating a ‘gap’. I suspect as I do some of you may begin to feel like you’re lacking something.
Maybe you’re expecting me to provide an answer, to fill that hole I’ve created, so you can go away satisfied.
That’s the consumer mindset, and we’ve all been well trained to think that way. That’s why I’ve written this like I have, because I’m trained to think this way as well – I’m equally culpable in this as you are. We’re all culpable.
Well I’m not going to.
The way of Jesus says there isn’t a hole in our lives. It says we are already complete in God. It opens our eyes to the truth He loves us infinitely, completely and totally as we are. Broken, screwed up and and empty.
Faith in God doesn’t suddenly make all your problems, struggles and pain just disappear. It won’t suddenly make everything okay.
Jesus isn’t interested in filling a hole or a quick fix.
He’s interested in us becoming disciples.
We lack nothing, we are complete already in God. Even in our brokenness, our failure, our mistakes, our lack of faith
we are already complete.
Now I accept this may well have come across as trying to fill a hole, and for this I apologise .
But just remember you don’t have a hole in your life, God-shaped or otherwise
No matter what anyone says.
So if God doesn’t fill a hole, then who exactly is He?
What does a relationship with Him which doesn’t fill a hole, one without borders or boundaries, look like?