Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
Creating Caring Communities That Transform Lives
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Monday, September 08, 2014 @ 12:00:00 AM - Written by Doug Hignell -

In my previous blog "You’re Not Okay and That is Okay" I introduced Tullian Tchvidjian and recommended his book "Jesus + Nothing = Everything". In his book, Tullian highlights the lessons he learned during what he calls the most difficult year of his life, 2009.This was the year he began to understand the length and breadth of the freedom Jesus purchased for him and how dependent he was, as a senior pastor, on the approval of others for significance.


This book challenged my thinking. In my life it is often "Jesus + Something" that I gravitate towards to find fulfillment, significance and approval. Tullian calls the "somethings" idols:


"Idolatry is simply trying to build our identify on something besides God.....anything or anyone that you conclude, in your heart, you must have in order for your life to be meaningful, valuable, secure, exciting or free." (pg. 40)


For me these idols are usually good things, such as my spouse, my children, my hopes and dreams, my work, success, my skills and reputation to name a few. I find that I daily gravitate to one or more of these to find the fulfillment, significance and approval I desire. Tullian identifies the problem with this approach:


"The trouble comes when these things become the main focus of our life...the ultimate things. We end up depending on these things and these people to provide us with the meaning and purpose and freedom and security and significance that only Jesus can provide." (pg. 41)


Through his personal struggles, Tullian found that the true freedom to be himself was found by understanding the incredible change Jesus brings in our lives. My favorite section is when Tullian began to understand he was not okay, and that was okay because Jesus is enough:


"...because Jesus was strong for me, I was free to be weak;

because Jesus won for me, I was free to lose;

because Jesus was someone, I was free to be no one;

because Jesus was extraordinary, I was free to be ordinary;

because Jesus succeeded for me, I was free to fail." (Pg. 24)

Tullian concludes the books with this paragraph (pg. 206):

"...the banner under which Christians live reads, 'It is finished.' So relax, and rejoice:

Jesus + Nothing = Everything

Everything - Jesus = Nothing

You're Free!"


What are the "somethings" you have the tendency to look to for fulfillment, significance and approval? Are you willing to admit that these are really idols in your life that are taking the place of Jesus? This can change and you can find freedom, but be careful not to make them a "to do list” of things you are going to change by your own effort. That would be just another form of performance that we/you don't need.

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