Shiny objects can be a temptation. Like most people, I love the newness and discovery that surrounds a new project. It has always been a joke at our house (even when I was young), you give Michael a few weeks and he will move on to a new project. I have started many businesses and have many unfinished songs and projects. Once the passion and newness leaves, I also want to leave. Maybe some of it has to do with being a man of vision or perhaps it comes from being a dreamer.
Shiny Object Syndrome is the tendency to forget about the issue, task, or priority at hand and bolt off in hot pursuit of a newly presented wonderful thing.
If you study the ministry of Jesus, you will find many that followed Him because they had shiny object syndrome. Once Jesus began to expound upon doctrine, such as in John chapter 6 (see scripture below), many of His followers departed. Toward the end of His earthly ministry, there were only twelve that did not leave.
Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? John 6:60 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? John 6:66,67
As long as Jesus was performing miracles, such as turning water into wine, or healing, the multitudes were on board. Then the inevitable happened, that happens in all aspects of life. The newness wore off and those that once followed Him, now were His critics. They left Jesus to follow the, “next new thing.”
Many followed the ministry of William Branham because they had shiny object syndrome. They had never seen a man that could be so used of God and that he could tell the secrets of their hearts. They sat in service for hours and watched in awe as the gift of healing was being manifested. They were all in, but then the inevitable happened; the newness wore off. Once the newness wore off, they began to scrutinize his ministry and every detail of his life and they wandered off to search for the “next new thing.”
Shiny object syndrome is often found in a church environment. A person will start attending a new church and it is the greatest! They love the music, they soak up every word of the preaching and everyone is so kind and friendly. But, guess what? Yes, the newness wears off. The honeymoon is over. The church that they once thought was so great, now becomes a lightning rod for criticism. It is time for them to move on, in search of the “next great church.”
In every facet of life, from marriage, to our walk with the Lord, the newness will wear off. The honeymoon will come to an end. The emotional high that a person, object, or experience gives will diminish. You will have to make a choice, am I committed to whatever is before me, or will I run to find the next “next new thing?”
Michael Tidwell resides in Tennessee with his wife Crista. He is the associate pastor at Eagle Christian church.