Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wise choice or an emotional reaction?

Pancakes. In case you actually had to go to work this morning and are unaware of the best part of not being you right now, the answer is pancakes. One perk of being jobless - time to make breakfast and sit in my pjs while I have my "quiet time." Eventually I write a to-do list for the day consisting of mainly job related items such as sending out resumes and the like...unless of course I'm being lazy and blogging all morning!

(side note - A bitterness is beginning to fester in my heart towards my at many times empty email inbox.)

Of course the benefit of creating my own schedule doesn't make up for the fact of so much uncertainty concerning my future. The terrible irony here, almost laughable really, is that I asked for this. About two or three months ago I told God I wanted to know what it means to really trust and depend on him everyday. I wanted to know what taking my safety net away would feel like and prayed for faith that stands strong despite circumstances.

If I had a question before as to whether God answers prayers, my doubts have been refuted. You might say I forced my own circumstances, since I resigned, so this doesn't technically count as an answered prayer. I do have a choice where I place my hope. Will I still trust God if I don't have a job by August? Scary thought. I've decided it's fruitless to entertain those thoughts since I can't control the unknown. But am I blissfully ignoring future reality until it becomes present reality or do I really trust that God has a plan for me?

Matthew 6:34
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

According to McKnights conversion theory in Finding Faith, Losing Faith, people tend to walk away from their faith because they can't make "intellectual coherence of life with the scriptures and don't have a place to go to ask questions."

Well my questions are these: When are risky choices acts of faith and when are we confusing our own ignorance for "childlike faith"? How do I know that I haven't arrogantly jumped without a parachute expecting that God will save me? Where do intellect and faith meet? Is intellect the same as wisdom? How do I know that I'm not basing my beliefs and choices on emotional highs rather than truth? When am I acting on faith and when am I just being plain naïve?

Proverbs 4:7 says: Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.

Then, Proverbs 3:5 says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. how does one "get understanding" yet "lean not your own understanding?"

I'm supposed to acquire understanding but not put my trust in that understanding? And why exactly?? What's the point? If I shouldn't put my faith in my knowledge, why have it? I find it hard to believe though that God would desire simple minded followers. I mean does anyone want a following of idiots who don't know any better? And who would follow a god that did ask for such "blind" believers?

1 Corinthians 2:12-16
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

If the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom, then I would assume trusting in the Lord means trusting in His guidance and not my own thoughts. I have to admit that sounds a little risky. How do I differentiate between the two? Is it possible to make a stupid decision but sincerely believe that God led you there? Which voice in my head is mine and which is from God or worse from neither?! Experience tells me to seek guidance in the Bible and from others I trust or respect. Third party perspective! (thank you Shallow Hal)

Most of my friends think, or at least say they think, I made a good choice and have been fairly supportive about my decision to resign especially in light of my unhappiness the past couple of years. My parents on the othe hand have situated themselves on the "you're kind of an idiot" side of the issue. Some of this may be due to the fact that my parents have been through the ugliness of a recession before while most of my friends have never had to worry too much about such hardships. Biblical answers? I keep finding all these verses about trusting God...and give my worries to him. Which is crucial I think, but it would seem that God isn't going to clearly write in the sky the right decision to each choice. Darn it!

So how do I discern between Godly wisdom and my emotional reactions or desires?

James 1:5-6
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

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