Reasoning and Will
Everyone enjoys giving good advice, and how wonderful it is to be able to say the right thing at the right time! (Proverbs 15:23)
I don't know about you, but 'giving' advice is much easier for me than 'heeding' it when someone else gives it to me. I want to think it through, mull it over, and determine 'if' I should actually take it to heart. I have had appliance repairmen tell me not to buy 'X' appliances, only to find those who own them say they are the most dependable appliances they have had. Whose advice do I rely upon - the one who made the purchase and uses the device, or the one who comes along when things don't function as they should? If the one purchasing is also the one who is responsible to maintain what is purchased, I might just rely upon their 'advice' a little more! Why? The one paying the price is also the one having to do what it takes to keep things running as they should. Jesus paid the price for the sins of this world AND he is the one who takes the responsibility to see to it that things are 'running as they should be' in our lives.
When the Word of God points out something in my life that isn't quite working correctly, is this just 'good advice' that I can mull over and come to my own conclusion as to embrace it or not? Not hardly! It is truth and truth embraced is what will keep me 'running' as I should! Too many times we treat the Word of God as though there were sections we can easily embrace and others we 'need to mull over' to see if they should apply to our lives. What we are doing is deciding which 'truth' is good for us and then rejecting other 'truth' because it seems too difficult or harsh. We may not easily embrace what it says, but it doesn't make the truth any less truth! God doesn't give us 'advice' - he gives us truth. He knows what will keep us running the course he has set out for us to run. He knows what will keep us from completing our course, as well. Heed truth and you shall run well. Ignore it and you might just find yourself 'paying a price' you never wanted to pay.
Pope Paul VI said, "Of all human activities, man's listening to God is the supreme act of his reasoning and will." We might not listen when another speaks, but when God speaks into our lives, we'd do well to listen. Listening involves more than just a bit of reasoning - we make judgments, form conclusions, and look for proofs. Incorrect conclusions based on 'flawed proofs' can lead us to making bad choices (the part of listening that involves our will). I have had to ask God to help me with my power of reasoning - not just once, but time after time again - so I am not making flawed choices based upon my own flawed conclusions. How about you? Do you listen, then 'reason away' truth based on some 'flawed conclusion' you might be making? If you and I are to 'run as we should', we need to be 'maintained' by the one who not only 'created us', but who also 'maintains' what he has paid for by his death, burial, and resurrection. It will do us well to treat his Word as truth not to be argued with but was the truth that brings ultimate freedom when heeded. Just sayin!