I call it the Thing One Syndrome. It’s that one thing in your life that if you could fix it, you would have most, if not all, of your problems solved. It can be anything – a bad habit, a disability, a secret sin, a mental disorder – but the one requirement is that it bears the weight of everything else in your life that is not right. What it turns out to be is one big excuse. Believe me, I know that of which I speak. I could tell you what my Thing 1 is but, it doesn’t matter. The important thing is for you to think about yours and not turn it into a convenient scapegoat.
It’s a lie. It’s debilitating. It’s what the enemy uses to render us powerless to change. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Change is a process over time. We’re not talking about winning the spiritual lottery here; we’re talking about overcoming, little by little, step by step. The Thing One Syndrome means you don’t have to pay attention to anything else.
It’s like the cripple who spent his whole life by the pool of Siloam, unable to jump in and be healed when an angel stirred the water because someone would always beat him in. If it ever occurred to him to go home and get on with his life as a cripple (If God wants to heal me, fine, but I’m not going to put the rest of my life on hold waiting to find out), he chose not to do that. It was easier to make this one thing the reason nothing else was possible.
I’m thinking of Joni Eareckson Tada, paralyzed from the neck down as a teenager, and accomplishing what few have been able to do even with all their facilities in good working order. She writes, she speaks, she paints, she inspires, and she has formed an organization to help others cope with similar struggles. You don’t see her sitting by the pool waiting for angels.
This is not to say that God can’t give healing or victory over that one thing – He may choose to do that – it means that we will not use that one thing as an excuse to not do anything else. I would venture to guess that we all, to one degree or another, have that one thing that is keeping us from growing. I would like to suggest that today, that instead of spending another day trying to do something about that one thing, we call on the Holy Spirit to help us pay attention to everything else. Leave that one thing to God. He’s the only one who can do anything about it anyway.