Sit on a stool with a broken leg and you know what happens. As gravity takes over, you feel the overwhelming sensation of being let down by something you thought was secure. You assumed you could put all your weight on it, but when you did, it gave way.
It’s bad when this happens at the kitchen counter, but it’s even worse when it happens in life. When you expect that something (or someone) will always be there for you, but then suddenly isn’t, it can be a serious let down.
This is what we call a false prop, and man, does it hurt when they give way.
False props come in various shapes and sizes, and we all have our favorites. To find yours, think about this…when life gets crazy and you find yourself scanning for something to help you feel steady and secure, what do you reach for? Mentally, where do you go? Maybe it is to a relationship with a significant other? Or, maybe it is to your career path, your good looks, your social status, or your financial portfolio?
Personally, I used to lean really hard on health and fitness…until I couldn’t. A spinal injury changed the game for me. It was a difficult day when I could no longer say, “At least I have my health.” Unable to run and exercise like before, I was forced to reassess what makes me feel strong and secure as a person.
A false prop could be literally anything that we depend on for assurance that everything’s going to be okay, especially when we are feeling vulnerable. To be clear, none of these things are wrong in and of themselves. The problem is when we expect too much of them and they collapse underneath us. When we misplace our deepest confidence in something or someone other than God, it is only a matter of time before the thing we are leaning on undergoes a strength test.
Back in ancient times, for example, the measure of strength was in how many horses and chariots you had. The more horses in your stable and the more chariots in your lot, the more invincible you felt. It was this idea that David challenges in Psalm 20:7,
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
In other words, true security and well-being come from God alone – not from a secondary source. David had horses and chariots, plenty of them, but he learned that it was a mistake to put all his weight on them.
If you’re tired of being disappointed by false props, this is a friendly reminder that there is still something solid out there on which you can put ALL of your weight. With the image of a stool in mind, here are four legs, or four promises, that will never break underneath you. There are more than four, of course, but if you’re just needing a break, something to rest on, plop down on these four truths:
1. The cross of Christ forever proves that you are loved unconditionally by God and that your life has worth, significance, and meaning (Romans 5:8).
Our world is rocking and reeling under the pressure of so many different forces these days, leaving us feeling pretty wobbly. As you grab for something secure, know that the Name of Jesus is within your reach.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.
“When we misplace our deepest confidence in something or someone other than God, it is only a matter of time before the thing we are leaning on undergoes a strength test.”