Fixation

Lulu The Wonder Dog - August 2010

I was going through some old blog posts and thought this bears repeating……And just in case you’re wondering about Lulu, she will be 3 years old in December and a very behaved, but quite spoiled, dog!

Lulu, my puppy, grabbed a garment out of the laundry basket that I was preparing to take downstairs to wash and began to run with it to her crate. She takes things there to hide them from me. I ran after her and took it and told her “NO!”. She watched me put it in the laundry basket and she grabbed it again. Again I chased her down and took it. “NO”! This time I set the basket on top of the hamper and out of her reach as I continued sorting laundry. She was fixated on the garment and after a few attempts to jump to get up far enough to grab it once again (impossible), she got smart and jumped on the hamper knocking the basket over and grabbing the same garment.

As I went chasing her again I thought of God. How many times has he taken things away that weren’t good for us? How many times have we desired what we could not have and gone for it anyway? Disregarding the voice that tells us “NO!”? How many times has leaving the old way of things become too difficult so we go back to the familiar?

Let’s look at the word fixation from a psychological standpoint. The word means:

A strong attachment to a person or thing, especially such an attachment formed in childhood or infancy and manifested in immature or neurotic behavior that persists throughout life.

Lulu is 11 weeks old. She is certainly forming attachments at this age and it’s important that I set boundaries or I will have a misbehaving dog which I don’t want. How did I relate this to us as followers of Christ though? I have to ask the question what does it say when God is clearly saying no and we are fighting him to get what we want? What does it say when we are knocking things down to reach for that thing that he wants us to put away and not touch again?

The bible speaks of this.
Galatians 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain?

In this passage we see a group of new believers who are finding living by grace hard because the old way of the law is easier to understand and makes you feel good. When it speaks of being made perfect it means becoming mature for no one is perfect.

Fixation certainly speaks to an immaturity. How many times have we started out on the right track and because it was not what we wanted in the flesh we move toward watering down our obedience to better fit our desire? We then debate the law. Did God really mean that or did I misunderstand? Is that my personal conviction or should you also tow the same line as me? We justify useless behavior thinking it makes us holy instead of doing simply what grace demands.

We become fixated on the wrong thing, just as Lulu did, and it causes us to be neurotic. Neurotic means we become anxious and emotional over the thing we are fixated on. Whether it’s that boyfriend God said no to but you’re still talking to him, or that offense you say you’ve let go of but you can’t stop talking about, it’s a fixation.

Lulu ended up being crated for a few minutes while I finished sorting my laundry. She wasn’t happy about it but she came out of the crate with a different attitude. Does God have to do that to us? Even when he does, do we get it or do we continue to pursue the wrong thing ultimately missing the blessing of the right thing?

Today examine yourself and your fixations. Are they healthy or are there things God’s been asking you to quit? Are they profitable, meaning are they a benefit to you, or do they cost you more than you bargained for?

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