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Sunday, June 22, 2014

You using your God-sense?

There are people in this world who believe that selfishness motivates people to do things - that it is because of their own self-interest ALONE that people seek to do good deeds.  Let me assure you, there are probably more than a few individuals like this, but once someone invites Christ into their lives, it is almost impossible to live that way any longer.  A cynic is usually someone we might refer to as pessimistic or skeptical.  They just have to believe every action has some underlying "ulterior motive".  As we come INTO Christ, the "motivations" of our life begin to change - moving from being a little too self-centered to being "other-centered".  The result of becoming more Christ-centered is that we also become more and more "other-centered".  This is a good thing since our ego gets us into more scrapes than we might like to deal with in this life!  While we are egocentric, we also have a pretty immature grasp on what others may see as wisdom.  Wisdom is only truly found when we are able to embrace it and as long as we are embracing everything which pleases self, we will not be able to open our arms to embrace wisdom.

Cynics look high and low for wisdom—and never find it; the open-minded find it right on their doorstep! (Proverbs 14:6 MSG)

Egocentric individuals have little regard for the beliefs or interests of others. They often appear quite self-absorbed.  As long as we are so "self-absorbed", we have little to no room to absorb anything else!  It is like being a saturated sponge - you can try to make the sponge hold more water, but it just has no more capacity!  Perhaps this is why when they seek wisdom they have such a hard time holding onto it!  It may not be that they don't encounter wise principles and practices in this lifetime, but they just don't 'absorb' them. 

We are all created equally, so this means all of us have a tendency to be a little too self-absorbed on occasion.  As Christ begins to take our eyes off of ourselves, turning them fully toward him, we begin to see there is a world outside of ourselves.  At first, I think Christ needs to help us maintain our focus because we don't realize how much our focus determines the direction we will take in this life.  As we grow in our relationship with him, it becomes easier for us to recognize when that focus is turned a little off of "center".

Wisdom comes as we begin to maintain our focus on Christ.  It is as we turn our eyes away from self that we behold Christ.  No man or woman who fully beholds the magnificence of his majesty can ever walk away unchanged. Wisdom comes in the form of exchanged priorities, deeper expressions of love and caring toward others, and a little less need to have the world rotate around us.

Remember - wisdom is not only the knowledge of what is true and right, but judgment to act upon it.  This is also what makes it so hard for the cynic - their judgment is self-based.  They have no "center" outside of themselves, so every action they take is based on how they will appear, what will benefit them from the experience, etc.  The wise embrace the fact that God's work is best revealed when the transformation which has occurred within is expressed outwardly in the way we treat others, the opportunities we find to elevate another over ourselves, etc.

The cynic may act upon "common sense" in much of what he or she does. The wise act upon "God sense".  It is the enlightenment God brings which helps us to make solid decisions and to take steps forward when it seems like we don't have all the answers up front.  This said, the cynic will weigh things out to see if the cost is too great for them.  The wise will realize that all "God things" come with a cost - a little less of our self in the mix means we get the best out of the circumstance!  Just sayin!