Woman fanning out $100 bills

Full Bank Account, Empty Heart

Johnny Manziel’s life documentary is being released. “Johnny Football” is now 30 years old and describes hitting rock bottom after being released by the Cleveland Browns in 2016. After winning the Heisman trophy, many considered Manziel, the poster child for emotional and professional implosion. The Dallas Morning News featured an article that detailed his downward spiral, but one statement was a tragic personal commentary from Manziel himself. “When I got everything I wanted, I think that was the most empty I have ever felt.”

Reality and perception are not always aligned. Manziel had a full bank account but an empty heart. Rather than smugly nod over this revelation, it made me ask fresh questions about our culture. How many have pursued “everything they wanted,” but upon obtaining it, they felt a similar emptiness?” How often do we bank our emotional satisfaction on the next purchase, the next experience, the next “like” in social media, the next glorious meal, the next victory in our work, team, community, or gym?

Kelly asked me a question while we were on vacation many years ago: “Do you wish we could live at the beach?” And I said, “No.” Why? Because I love the beach precisely because it is a change of scenery, and I don’t have the chance to take it for granted. If I lived there, I would complain about the sand, the real estate taxes, and all the tourists! What makes vacation so special is the break from normal responsibility and the sense that you’re enjoying something new, different, abnormal! The LACK of things makes you ENJOY those things, but only if you have a thankful, open heart. The minute you think you DESERVE those things, you say goodbye to the joy.

That kind of thinking is at the heart of the new series we are launching this Sunday. “Counterfeit Truth” looks at the lies we believe readily and how they change our hearts. We’ll examine some of the more common cultural assumptions and lies and carve out an opportunity to exchange those counterfeits for the TRUTH.

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