Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Subtle Slide of Individualism

No Compromise

An uncomfortable realization shook me from a discussion with my wife and dearest friend yesterday.  (One would think that after all our years of marriage, our accumulated wisdom would kick-into-gear each time we have a decision to make.  Right?  Nope.)

We were working through a question, and suddenly, each of us slid into our individual preference.  It was so natural to slide into an answer that matched our individual desires.  I wanted what I wanted.  And she wanted what she wanted.  (And for those of you who are engaged or newly married; after thirty-four years of marriage, our desires still differ.  Thank goodness, we still have varying ways of doing life and perceiving issues.)  In this case, there was no hint of understanding the other’s position on the matter.

No Compromise

Now, I know what you are probably thinking.  This is the time for compromise.  Both of us must be at least somewhat comfortable with outcomes.  Right?  This type of thinking was precisely the problem.  We had gotten onto the subtle slide of individualism.  

As people who seek the ways of Jesus in our lives, “comfort” should not be our goal.  “Preferences” should not reign supreme.  Our personal positions are not what we signed-up to defend, or took vows to follow.

Higher Ways

And so yesterday morning, we were suddenly confronted with our self-seeking preferences.  We needed to remember that the most comfortable, desirable, logical or acceptable ways--are not necessarily our way.  We need direction from the One to whom we give our allegiance.

Not, WWJD.  No.  But, as we pray and seek and live toward wisdom, what does he ask of us?  And so we agreed to abandon the subtle slide, drop our preferences, and pray for wisdom that is higher than ours.

After this time of seeking, we may still disagree.  His direction may require some “middle road.”  But not for our own sakes.  There is a higher way, and we can’t afford to slip-slide away from it.

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