FTT (Failure To Thrive)
Here’s some of what I read this morning thanks to Bob and Debbie Gass; writers of 'The Word For Today', a Christian devotional:
“Psychologists have begun to speak of what is perhaps today’s largest mental health problem. And it’s a rapidly growing problem. They call it ‘FTT’, which means ‘failure to thrive’. When you have it, you’re still able to function, but you’ve lost your sense of hope and meaning. FTT isn’t the presence of mental illness; it’s the absence of mental, spiritual and emotional vitality. In ancient lists of deadly sins it was called ‘acedia’, which means ‘weariness of soul and inability to delight in life’. It’s why Jesus looked at a crowd of people with dead-end jobs and a feeling of inner deadness, and said, ‘I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full’ (John 10:10 NIV)…” Gass; The Word For Today 2015. http://thewordfortoday.com.au/
What struck me most about this new term ‘FTT’ is that firstly I’ve witnessed it and secondly that it really isn’t a NEW problem…Even though it now has a new contemporary name and is being acknowledged as ‘on the rise’.
Today I say to you that I have seen FTT within the Church; I have witnessed it firsthand. Before I go any further I also want to acknowledge I have seen attempts to help people overcome FTT too.
While I accept what I am about to say will cause offence to some, I need for you to understand that I am a servant of Christ and it is my aim to please Him first by being faithful to the Gospel and scripture; it cannot be my aim to please people first and foremost as stated in scripture…
Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10; Acts 5:29).
Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15).
From what I have EXPERIENCED and WITNESSED first-hand I believe there are 2 major reasons for FTT today.
1. The first is a lack of reverence for our HOLY God and people making God into a god that suits them (idolatry); people saying that scripture is not infallible or inerrant and is to be interpreted in light of our current culture and understanding…furthermore that God changes and progresses along with His people/creation.
Where is the humility in this? I choose to believe God who says in His WORD, He does NOT change; that He desires us to live in purity; that all scripture is INSPIRED by Him; that people will desire teachers who tell them what they want to hear, not what they NEED to because they love their sin more than Jesus...Do I need to quote this?
All I will say to those people who would try refute me, is show me your fruit…Show me people TRANSFORMED, freed from sin by your gospel.
I have personally experienced and witnessed first-hand the supernatural power of God to TRANSFORM people.
The One true God; the blessed Father, Son and Holy Spirit who takes lost sinners, forgives them and re-births them to become His children…Transforming them into vessels of purpose for His glory and Kingdom…BROKEN people…lost people, existing not living becoming TRANSFORMED this is the power of the one true Gospel.
People who once lived solely for themselves…ruled by their FLESH become people who LOVE God and are no longer ruled by a desire to continue living in sin (sin defined by scripture, not man). Yes they will continue to sin and make mistakes for ‘SANTIFICATION’ is a process, but they will not desire to abuse God’s grace; they will continue to repent and have their mind renewed, to grow and become more and more like CHRIST!
The problem is there are many who now proclaim a false gospel…a gospel which says not only come as you are to Christ, but which says it’s okay to STAY AS YOU ARE…
How is this the truth of the Gospel…How does this free people from slavery to sin through Christ? Christ wants to set us free; He loves us too much to allow us to stay as we are…
For scripture says:
Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites,thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6: 9-11)
And also in Revelation21:8
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, the murderers, the fornicators, the sorcerers, the idolaters, and all liars, their place will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
2. The second major reason I believe for FTT today is APATHY; stemming from people in the Church who are self-promoting rather than servant-hearted people who encourage and raise up disciples for the Kingdom of Christ. Leaders who want to be the only one out the front and are happy to leave people as pew sitters.
I won’t say much about this point because it is all about a personal response…For there is no fault in God…He is more than willing to freely give His children hope and meaning. Scripture says:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Jesus said things to His followers like:
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? (Matthew 16: 24-26)
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9: 57-62)
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 18-20)
Then someone came to him and said, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have kept all these;what do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions. (Matthew 19: 16-22)
Then looked what happened when A WOMAN proclaimed:
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.”So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days.And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.” (John 4:39-42)
Jesus wants THE TRUTH about Him to be proclaimed to the ends of the Earth by His followers…He said the harvest is ripe…Will you be found serving Him faithfully when He returns?
I believe that as followers of Christ we receive His JOY and HOPE from our God ordained PURPOSE to work for His glory and Kingdom after we are TRANSFORMED, living sold out for Him…This is the remedy for FTT!
In His Service and Love, Melanie :)
Let me leave you with "Thrive" by Casting Crowns: