Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Solitude and the Breaking of Adulation Addiction

Plaque, in a store in Cleveland

Mike Bickle, in Growing In the Prophetic, writes of a time when he was traveling with John Wimber, speaking regularly before crowds of thousands of people. Mike found that "I enjoyed the attention and honor more than I realized." (143)  

He says, "We didn't have enough spiritual maturity to discern some basic warning signals about pride." (144) This is a dangerous spiritual condition to be in! ("O come, let us adore me.")
We all need affirmation. We don't need to be worshiped. We do need to be and feel appreciated. We don't need adoration and adulation. 

There is a fine line between affirmation and adulation. The healthy glow of affirming words can morph into self-worship addiction. When we become attached to the affirmation we then live for it, rather than live selflessly for God and others. 

Affirmation-as-adulation can become like a drug, and off we go fishing for the next fix. One way fish for praise is to perform before others. When the presence of God ends the performance before others begins. At this point all of life's a stage, and we await the reviews.

Solitude with God can break us of this. By "solitude" I include "Internet solitude," meaning not getting alone with your laptop, but retreating from it. Go apart from all persons and media and laptops and texting and tweeting through which praise or blame comes so that God can love you even when you are not performing. It is in that quiet place with God that I hear His "well done," and "John, I love you." 

When I am discovered by God and find my life's worth in being His beloved child, I am released to love and serve others apart from any performance review.