The cliché is widespread within Christian circles: There is a God-shaped hole in every person, and only God can fill it. A strand of truth is woven through the thought, but Len Sweet is on to a subtle deception that lies within this favorite phrase:
The enthroning of the self is the author of countless sins, and is such a pervasive presence that it has infiltrated even some of our most hugged metaphors. “There is a God-shaped hole in the human heart that only God can fill” causes me to cringe every time I hear it, as if God exists to fill our holes, to fill our gaps, to be a pleasure plug. Every addiction is an honest attempt to fill the emptiness we feel when we deny Christ. Every addiction is self-medication. The “hole” is a metaphor for the sense of emptiness that consumes us when we seek independence. Desire is God-ordained to encourage us to seek the divine and Christ’s provisions, but a self-focused response is to stuff the desire with whatever will quell the discomfort.