In one of the episodes of the BBC documentary on children, Child of Our Times, several children are put through an experiment where their parents withdraw while playing with them for a time. Some of the children cry when their parents go away, while others simply continue playing on their own.
I initially thought that the children who were independent and self-confident were those who did not cry when their parents left. Child psychologists, however, reached the opposite conclusion. Their view was that the children who cried or who showed some discomfort at their parents’ absence are the ones that were truly secure. The insecure children were the ones who continued playing as if their parents never existed.
And of course, a host of anti-social problems in adulthood can spring from insecurity - possessiveness (of friends or partners), bullying, the need to control, the need to put others down, the need to show off, the need to win all the time, the inability to lose graciously and to accept failure, the inability to share, the willingness to do even foolish things to gain acceptance, etc.
I think our relationship with God is sometimes like this. Some of us we think we are getting on fine despite keeping God at arm’s length - opening Bibles only on Sundays (or alternate Sundays or less), praying only in emergencies, and limiting our involvement in the Christian community and ministries. In fact, we are insecure, and seeking assurance in things that may not ultimately matter - whether it is a highly successful career or the next expensive gadget.
In reality, this is what really matters -
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
- Matthew 6 : 19 - 20
And this is the promise for those who set their hearts on and hands to what really matters -
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’. For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
- Matthew 6 : 31 - 33