THE CURSE OF EMPTINESS

We are the hollow men,
We are the empty men
Leaning together;
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless,
As wind in dry grass,
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

If you went out into the streets and asked people what they want most in life, most would say, “Happiness!” But instead of happiness, so many people find only emptiness. Why?

Some are living empty lives because they lack knowledge of the Savior. Millions in our world have never heard the name of Jesus. Even many of those who think of themselves as “Christian” actually know very little about Jesus and His teachings, and most of what they think they know is either completely wrong or tragically distorted! Those who do not know Jesus need to hear about Him from us!

Some are empty lives because they have not honestly tried God’s way. They have some knowledge of the truth but refuse to obey it and live it. It is not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting; it is that Christianity has been found difficult and not tried! They think the Christian life is too difficult to attempt. Our task is to show them they will never escape their emptiness until they do.

Some are living empty lives because they have missed the emphasis of the Gospel. It is ironic but true that there is a certain kind of religion which leads only to emptiness. A lot of people think of Christianity in terms of “negative goodness.” They think they are Christians because of what they don’t do: they don’t lie, steal, murder, get drunk, commit adultery, etc. Jesus taught that we must not only clean the evil out of our lives, we must also replace it with positive goodness (Matthew 12:43-45)! We must get busy in serving God and our fellow man! The goal of true religion is not emptiness (absence of evil) but fullness (serving God and doing good to others)! The attitude, “I never did anybody any harm,” will not make you happy; “bearing one another’s burdens” will!

Jesus longs to fill empty lives. This is the good news of the Gospel! Jesus can, not only clean out your life, He can also fill it up (Ephesians 1:23). Life without Jesus will always be a life which is subject to barrenness and hollowness. Life with Him is fullness and grace upon grace (John 1:16).

Bobby Dockery, via Chapman church of Christ, Ripley, MS

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