Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Plans or Arrogant Schemes

Me: Today or tomorrow I will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make some money.

God: Hold on there, tiger.

It never ceases to humor me when people who otherwise disregard or even pooh-pooh the Bible, love quoting passages that validate whatever it is that they are peddling. What brought this up to me (again) was coming across some wisdom from Proverbs being cited by an author who was selling the idea that our thoughts create our reality: yeah, verily, our very destiny. “For as a man thinks within himself, so he is.” This, in turn, got me to thinking about my own use of this verse in my writings, which, in retrospect, have been a tad squishy.

Clearing up the squishy: the context of this wisdom is where an individual is being cheerily told by a ruler to sit with him for a meal, while his heart is actually filled with some bad mojo toward his guest. What appears to be sincere hospitality is essentially a desire to get something over on his dinner companion. Be cautious, here: don’t be tricked by his words but remember, as a man is thinking in his heart, so he is. (Proverbs 23.1-7)

Anyway, sticking with how the verse is often applied -

Yes, I believe that our deepest thoughts have a lot of influence on our daily habits and outcomes. Habits of the mind create habits of attitudes and behaviors. However, the idea that our thoughts – however “good” – regarding our desired outcomes are always aligned with God’s thoughts on the issue is foolish … at best.

How often, for example, have we experienced having the outcome of, say, eating bread: creating a strategy for attaining the desired bread, disciplining our minds to see ourselves eating the bread, even praying for the bread, only to be surprised that God had something else in mind for us. We thought we were going after bread when in reality it was, for us, stones.

We say that we are going to the city, “spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” We envision, we construct our plans, and we discipline our thoughts accordingly. God says, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” (James 4:13-15) If our plans are not continually bathed in the prayer, “Nevertheless, your will be done, Lord,” then, as James goes on to write, what we are calling “plans” God calls “arrogant schemes.”

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2018

No comments:

Post a Comment