Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ego-centric or God-centric

 32 An undisciplined, self-willed life is puny;
   an obedient, God-willed life is spacious. 
(Proverbs 15:32)

A disciplined life is characterized by self-control, orderly and prescribed conduct and exercise in things that produce solid moral character.  Most of us would associate ourselves with some other 'title' than 'disciplined'.  If we have mastered the art of living disciplined lives, it is usually in some area such as our finances, health, exercise, etc.  The type of discipline that is required to produce a 'spacious life' encompasses these types of 'disciplined living' and much more.

The self-willed man is one who directs attention to his own needs without considering the outcome as it relates to his overall character.  In other words, if it feels good, gets me what I think I want, or makes me feel better about the situation, I direct my attention toward those things.  The will is that which we exercise that reveals choice, appetite and passion.  A self-willed person has appetite and passion focused on what brings gratification to the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, or the pride of life.

The God-willed man focuses on what choices God would have him make as it relates to his eternal well-being.  God is not as focused on our immediate pleasure as he is on our eternal well-being and reward.  The writer makes it clear that the God-willed man is living in obedience to the direction of his will by his heavenly Father, forsaking the desires of his own will when they do not match the will of God.

A puny life is the reward of the self-willed because self can only think of self.  Choices, desires and intentions are all directed at building up, protecting, or driving forward the agenda that creates the sense of internal and external gratification of selfish desires.  A puny life is characterized by weakness.  In other words, the self-centered, self-willed man is given to those things that don't really allow strength to be established in the inner fiber of moral character.

The reward of a self-willed man is also puny.  All his striving and conniving really does not pay off in the end with the reward he was hoping for.  A spacious life is the reward of the godly.  Spaciousness can be thought of as that which produces ample, or larger than is ordinary, results.  It is a comfortable life - magnificent in every way.

We will do well to examine our choices.  They reflect our heart.  If we find they are a little too focused on self, we need to make some course adjustments.  If they are correctly focused on the only thing that can really 'center' us in life (God), then we will find ourselves moving from ego-centric choices to God-centric choices on a pretty consistent basis.  

Remember:  God's economy makes us extra-ordinary.  If we find our focus is consistently on the ordinary, we may want to ask God to increase our vision.