Sunday, October 3, 2010

Negative Prejudgment vs. The Trouble of a Moral Overload

If love is blind, then maybe a blind person that loves has a greater understanding of it.

Oftentimes a deviation from man's typical cognitive shortcuts will either look incredibly foolish or incredibly intelligent or, sometimes, both simultaneously. To a degree, it also appears to be a sort of raw knowledge - developing on a strong foundation what one can from square one. Here is a quick reference, a neuroscientific peek into the strikingly superior minds of infants, which provides a solid metaphor for this type of reasoning: Inside the Baby Mind. Not to wander, but watching babies is quite a sight. It is reflective of one's relationship with God: They run around getting into everything and will sometimes pick up something that could harm them (such as a sharp object); they are completely unconscious of how it could harm them, so daddy has to come and snatch it away for the baby's own protection. What is my point here? Raw knowledge, grounded on faith, is a great strength when avoiding fearful, negative prejudgment.

Maybe this is an obscure subject, but negative prejudgment, by means of appearance, to any degree in which an individual takes his appearance, is generally an unfaithful position. John 7:24, 51 says, "Do not judge by appearances, but judge with righteous judgment. ... Our law does not judge a man, unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?" This is not to say that men cannot judge at all. To judge is essentially impossible not to do. Everyone judges constantly: positively judging one person is the same as negatively judging everyone else; it is to say that that person is superior in some sense. Most men fear the incoming judgment but live by an outgoing judgment, therefore I am convinced that most men do not follow, or even understand, their own logic until it benefits themselves. To elaborate on controllable prejudgment, I am going to use a "bandana-covering-the-face" example:

If late at night I am walking alone, should I become intimidated when casually approached by a stranger with a red bandana covering his face? Should not I truly only fear God? When the stranger is approaching, he, just like any individual, has the decision, on the spot, to either follow through with a crime or turn from it. If I instantly anticipate the darker side, then I am inadvertently hoping for his worst. This leaves little faith in the security and conviction of God for both him and myself. In that case, I would even more deserve the coming misdeed. Similarly, and previously quoted, C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that when one goes on thinking that his enemies are worse than they really are, he is "beginning to wish that black was a little blacker" (pg. 118). Oppositely, if I believe that he can suddenly reconsider what he was going to do, then I am hoping for his best. I am beginning to wish that there is a light within him that can steer him in opposition of sin. 1 John 4:18 says, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." One might call it a sanction for naivety, but that is merely a label tagged onto a legitimate philosophy. A label does not change the truth value of the product it labels. In order on the scale of perception, there is cynicism, there is realism, there is hope, there is naivety. I find them all useful. No man is fully cynical, and none fully naive, rather his perception, to a degree, shifts under a given circumstance.

Being nice merely to be liked in return nullifies the point. The vital difference between avoiding negative prejudgment and longing for some form of mercy through wishful thinking - which is always vain and destructive - is that it is neither intended to nor believed to affect the outcome of another man's decisions. It is, in fact, one's inner victory over fear where true freedom is then found. Ultimately, whether he commits the crime or not is irrelevant to the faithful man because, sooner or later, God blesses the faithful man in such a way where the flesh decreases as the spirit increases, where the temporal yields to the eternal. The faithful man perceives nothing less than opportunity in difficulties. Flowing through his spine, faith and courage work together: Such a man does not fear losing his life, thus he will risk losing it at times in order to empower it. By this he actually values his life more than the man who fears losing his life. It is much like leaping from a window in order to avoid a fire yet in that most crucial moment knowing that God will appear to catch you.

Man causes more problems than he solves when he frequently disregards the example of Christ. Maybe he insists on doing this for a number of reasons: It can seem too difficult to try to follow, or it, theoretically, leads a boring lifestyle, or maybe it is just cheesy. However it is typical for man to want to thrive in his own misconceptions, and through short-sightedness, he settles for the less ripe fruit merely because it is easier to reach. Regardless, would Christ wet his pants in the sense of danger, or would he stand firmly on what is virtuous no matter the earthly consequences? Would he look at a group of gangstas and become intimidated? Would he look at an emo and begin ridiculing him? Would he look at a bum in disgust? Would he look enviously at a successful man? The answers to these questions are so evident that the questions themselves are rhetorical. Love begets wisdom, thus it is, as often misconceived, more than vain layers of tenderness; it is inherently rational and comprehensive of the problem within the problem: for instance, envy is one of the most excused sins in the media of political correctness. Those you find most attractive, or seem to have it all, are often some of the most insecure at heart, and that is because people assume that they do not need anything but defamation. Such envy is the selfish man's way of coping with where he feels a shortcoming in himself. He, consciously or unconsciously, acts in a way in which selfishness is his key to emotional self-improvement. I would say, "In the land where excellence is commended, not envied, where weakness is aided, not mocked, there is no question as to how its inhabitants are all superhuman." God's teachings, when sincerely respected, are far more beneficial than one can only feel. Christ delves far beyond the means of superficiality, not simply because of his immaculate love, but also because he considers the distinct cases of each individual rather than withholding a broadened perception by use of stereotypes.

It always seems as though the definition of love will remain debatable by an opinionated world, so I want to include a word from Kierkegaard that frames this for a more solid understanding: "Love is the expression of the one who loves, not of the one who is loved. Those who think they can love only the people they prefer do not love at all. Love discovers truths about individuals that others cannot see." Love is without a doubt the laziest theory for the meaning of life, but when it actually comes a time to do it we find just enough energy to over-complicate life again. Any devil can love, whom he himself sees as, a good person who has treated him well, but to love also the polar opposite is what separates love from fickle emotions. To endure such a challenge is the opposite of cowardice.

Now returning to the example, I understand that depending on how one defines it, taking such a position can at times ruin the fun (or the personal safety net) of an individual, but on the other hand, and more importantly, it provides the autonomy of a noble sacrifice. Throughout much of history the greatest men were those who were substantial enough to make sacrifices. Truly understanding that values are more important than valuables is temporarily the hardest yet permanently the most admirable way. It is what I like to call a "moral overload" because, when desiring to walk as Christ did, one is bound to pass through dark moments in order to remain consistent with his integrity; however, through faith in Christ those darkest moments will ultimately resolve into the brightest moments. And in this, as one becomes wiser, the more sensible the way of Christ becomes to him: the notion "God's laws are too strict" becomes "God's laws are my delight."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Did you just imply the concepts of 'reasonable faith' and a 'reasonable God'? Tsk tsk."

As already mentioned, it is inevitable that those who speak out will often be accused of heresy by various individuals, groups, or denominations who interpret even non-essentials of doctrine differently. In his autobiography Unfinished Work, vocalist Kevin Max wrote, "Christians sometimes think that every believer thinks as they do without taking the time to understand the individual and what makes them tick." Yet unless those unjustly accused of heresy embrace religious legalism before faith in Christ, then such accusations should not always become overly disheartening. If a faithful man has met his calling, it is extremely difficult to convert him, the servant of another (Romans 14:1-4), to a legalistic, systematic tradition learned by rote. Isaiah 29:13 is an effective passage for one's self-evaluation, "The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.'"
Reason is not necessarily a contradiction of faith. I want to elaborate on one of my previous passages:

"Truly reason is a large cut of what directs one to a reasonable God apart from the uncultivated mentality - one in which is driven by fear of philosophies and scientific
data. Ironically, would not the creator be both the paramount definition of knowledge and the source of logic? Lasting is the irrational conflict between men of science and men of faith, yet there is an analogy by astronomer Robert Jastrow that nails the primary difference between the two: Men of science hike the mountain 'round and 'round in search of truth. This will inevitably lead back to the Author of truth. Eventually, upon nearing the top, they will realize that men of faith have been standing there for centuries."

Several respected theologians, such as Tozer and Kierkegaard, have implied that faith is where reason cuts off, and this is a necessary absurdity. In The Fellowship of the Burning Heart, Tozer wrote, "So, all down the line, faith is an organ of knowledge. And the man who believes is having knowledge that the man who merely thinks can't possibly have. Our poor little old brain can come staggering along like a little boy trying to keep up with his dad - coming along on his little, old, short, stubby legs, trying to reason." There was a time when skepticism was an act of rebellion. Since to a degree I both believe in evolution and have faith, I can only conclude that, as prophesied, to have faith will someday be an act of rebellion (Jeremiah 5:31). As stated in both the beginning analogy and by Tozer, men of faith are intellectually beyond men of science (Proverbs 9:10). Scientists are at high-risk of being directed towards the Author of truth due to the probability of evidence for God (however, it is important to note that tangible proof of God is not scientifically justifiable because he is spiritually beyond the universe). What one truly does upon receiving this evidence is God's distinction between the faithful man and the skeptic. If one's heart is hardened, an idea or thing can rest in front of him but he will deny it out of pride, while on the inside knowing, in this case, that there must be a supernatural origin for his existence. Consequently, the universe continues to appear more complex, and the more complex something becomes, the more evidence one has that it was not an accident.

From the theistic standpoint, reason exists yet will be inferior to faith. Tozer also said, "Faith never goes contrary to reason; faith simply ignores reason and rises above it." To elaborate on the relationship between this and the phrase "reasonable God", I must make it clear that the following reasons are different from those of scientific standards. The theist has reasons for faith in God: a transformed life, miraculous happenings, positive revelations, gifted abilities, and Christ himself within history. These reasons require a degree of faith in order to be comprehended, but are in fact reasons for one's faith in God; therefore, the phrases "reasonable faith" and "reasonable God" are not unbiblical.

There are a number of denominations who openly reprimand the inclusion of God and science in the same sentence. God, on the contrary, permitted man the sciences as a means to seek, discover, to use, and to relish. Ultimately, God's magnitude is made evident, in the physical dimension, as strong advocates of science so desire, when exploring such a voluminous and complex universe, and whether conscious of it or not, man, in addition, honors God when doing such. Yet many highly and predominantly religion-oriented sects are contemptuous of knowledge seekers, as though God scorns those who delight in studying, in experiencing his own creation. However, what truly matters is that a man who does this through his own conscience is fallen.

Psalms 19:1-6, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dictionary Moment: Humility ≠ Self-Righteousness

There are 2 sides when it comes to judgmentality: the judge and the judged. As for the judged, there are indeed those who too often resort to the very asinine "I'm just being myself, so don't judge me" mentality, which, if ultimately given way to, the distinction between morality and immorality becomes completely nonexistent. If you build the guts to do something, anything, then you better save enough to face the consequences.

But the focus in this case is primarily on the self-righteously judgmental who is, in fact, spiritually destructive in his manner. One can only ponder the great number of individuals that hide behind righteous masks and how many are truly relentless about divulging specific things done, or ideas hidden, that are clearly ungodly to more than trustworthy counterparts. When defining "humility", in many cases the first impression is a gentle, seemingly good person giving out free hugs, big smiles, and groveling to the ground. Such a definition is quite asinine and sometimes even culturally inconsistent.

Humility of any true value extends beyond merely quoting passages and regurgitating phrases such as "bless you, my brother". On the contrary, the humble sinner will sometimes be interpreted as one of the filthiest in the eyes of man yet immersed in the eyes of God, and this is due to the volition of honesty regarding his own corruption. In light of dealing with this,
Romans 8:1 is important, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." No man has the authority to condemn another man under the construction of the hands of God. Perhaps the individual is going through a fruitless period as a part of his ultimate growth in Christ; however, to partner that statement, I must note that condemnation is not to be confused with accountability. Yet, it is inevitable that the honest man will often be ridiculed by the self-righteous man, who is condemning irrespective of the notion that when a man is penalized for honesty he learns to lie. Self-righteousness is much like a spiritual egocentricity. It constitutes a secular type of love that thrives under conditionality, one in which is only existent after an individual meets the adopted standards of the condemner; oppositely, unconditional love is a holy love. People more easily welcome the man that was crafty about hiding his own immoralities while willfully rejecting the man known to have said or to have committed something immoral.

There is a difference between idealistically generalizing man and maliciously attacking the individual. Many young hearts today have the balance of effective judgmentality in reverse. They are afraid to judge humanity, yet are willing to hastefully judge the individual. One, however, is more precise when he is warm enough to a degree in which he does not judge the individual, yet he is wise enough to a degree in which he does judge humanity. Why is this so? The individual can and will justify himself by his own motives, thus, no man is truly at liberty to pass accurate judgment on another without a fair case. Man-to-man argumentation achieves very little when it comes to defining absolute morality. Whereas, judging humanity before the individual forms an unjustifiable depiction of sin, an unavoidable axiom that the individual cannot deny. He knows that at times he partakes in it. He cannot justify himself in knowing that his sin is a reality. A man does not have to feel less than human to realize his sin; oppositely, he has to realize that he gets no special vindication for his sin.

Although, what do I mean by "judging humanity"? It is in some respects understanding the consistencies of man. For instance, drinking is such a necessity to human life that people cannot fathom an individual who, like a child confined to a church pew, gets little enjoyment out of it and would rather do other things. There is an irrefutable truth value to such an observation. While drinking in itself is certainly not an act of sin, the commonality here is the nature of man, and in this case, idolatry, the things in which we may too often depend on. It then becomes evident as to why God's commandments are absolute truths rather than movements susceptible to emotions.
"I have been yet another petty fool; I shall now reach further than the average man." To put it quite simply, a pure heart does not demean the spirit of an individual, it, instead, compels the individual to examine his spirit.

For the believer, humility is honesty about one's greatest flaws to a degree in which he is fearless about truly appearing less righteous than another (e.g. "Yes, I lusted after her", "Yes, I hope I can make more money", "Yes, I search for loopholes in song lyrics so that I can listen to the music I want", "...Yet God is my discipline and my guidance."). All individuals have moral deficiencies, and when introducing these to reality one not only strengthens himself but also the confidence of others in the human exigency for Christ due to a reflection throughout the body of Christ. In simpler terms, the believer should avoid living in fear of open self-evaluation - a fear of weakness only strengthens weakness. The heart of Christianity is not about being a good person; it is about being saved by grace through faith because you are a bad person. Every man knows that he would never compare to a holy and sovereign God (even the non-believer, theoretically, knows it if there was indeed a holy being); hence, it is easy for one to repeat what is already written, "...all our righteous acts are like filthy rags [to God]," (Isaiah 64:6). However, it is difficult to expose oneself as though he truly means it, that he is, when astray from God, the epitome of nothingness.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Warming the Cold Shoulder and Mending the Mass Media

To a degree, I have a cold shoulder towards a number of detective shows and the daily press, or, I could say, the "inflated" daily press. The reason is simple - they frequently portray quiet individuals as crime suspects, as though introversion is a negative connotation, the drive behind a sinister agenda. In an extroverted society, the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is that an introvert is often unconsciously deemed guilty until proven innocent. Not to ramble, but here is a word from Kierkegaard on the daily press, "On the whole the evil in the daily press consists in its being calculated to make, if possible, the passing moment a thousand or ten thousand times more inflated and important than it really is. But all moral elevation consists first and foremost in being weaned from the momentary. There has never been a power so diametrically opposed to Christianity as the daily press." My mind is more stimulated watching children's shows than political news. The former brings back all the basic, undeniable truths that may then be built upon; the latter is flooded with biased drivel thus giving me this strange feeling that I did my mind a huge disservice. While a person should most definitely feel free to indulge in such, as entertaining or important as it may be, as well as inevitable to assimilate in most cultures, one must maintain a sound foundation.

One must keep in mind that an over-indulgence of anything, even something as pure as water, can intoxicate, and in this case, in a way which develops unhealthy thinking habits since the mind seems to be only truly affected when slowly penetrated. Seemingly minor yet persistent things penetrate the mind over time making it difficult to ever realize the impact; hence, though quite unfortunate, the most dangerous forms of corruption are those that are subtle and below the radar. I find technology in general to be a strong force in this assertion. In the age of technology there is constant access to vast amounts of information. The basket overflows; people get overwhelmed; the eye of the storm is not so much what goes on in the world, it is the confusion of how to think, feel, digest, and react to what goes on.

To get to the central points, it is evident that normal introverts of today, who are genuinely virtuous yet show the affections in a different manner, cannot even take a dump without being accused of dropping a bomb (pun intended). It is paradoxical that, when confined to nothing more than human judgment, the majority of people fear and doubt the unknown, thereupon an emotion by way of ignorance. Now, I am aware that everything at some point has been declared the root of all evil. But if ignorance is not the root of all evil, as Plato is often credited for saying, then explicitly, it is very much so the water to the roots. Ephesians 4:18, "They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart." The result of ignorance is false and potentially malicious judgment. For instance, when it comes to judging individuals, I do not like remarks such as "too good to be true." They speak as though one is rewarding the nature of evil. Yet, ironically, we still wonder where all the good people have gone. Oftentimes such cognitive habits leave little beauty to be seen in the individual, therefore isolating his very essence: If a man cannot understand the beauty of life, it is probably because life never understood the beauty in him.

It seems as though some cultures have evolved in ways which convince one that he is mentally unstable if he is naturally more productive when flying alone. In turn, it steers him into a hole; he feels bullied for personality traits which are very difficult to steer. In result, he begins to feel and think as an enemy to other people; he is filled with a cultural guilt (which is not necessarily a moral guilt). This is why it is understandable that one can sympathize with villains and underdogs - they are obviously wrong, but it continues because, by the holiest standards, good people are not as good as they think they are. But, of course, giving or finding sympathy is not the answer - an obsession with sympathy expands, and I often say that, like crying wolf, if you keep looking for sympathy as a justification for your actions, you will someday be left standing alone when you really need help.

Now some of the most common arguments against this particular area of non-prejudgment may (inadvertently) influence a detachment - the greater solutions from the problems. You get hit the hardest when trying to run or hide from a problem. Like the defense on a football field, putting all focus on evading only one defender is asking to be blindsided. One's own functionality begins when pinpointing the lethargic solutions that influence him to remain lethargic, as these are the most brutal of human oppositions, for example, "That's the reality of it. Deal with it. Mysterious people are more likely to commit crimes." Yes, the assertion can be made, but assuredly, is not that way of thinking also what separates genius from mediocrity? As Einstein said, "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." In recent years, the problem is not so much the individuals behind the atrocities, those further made infamous in a stereotypical caricature, rather it is the reaction of the general public towards those being negatively caricatured. When it comes to world news, attitude is what marks the distinction between justice and vengeance. Justice is pure, but vengeance brings more ruin. In Mere Christianity (pg. 118), C.S. Lewis wrote: "The real test is this. Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one's first feeling, 'Thank God, even they aren't quite so bad as that,' or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything - God and our friends and ourselves included - as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred." Denying safety and precaution is asinine; albeit, such conceptions, in their rights, do not veritably come from man. In times of doubt, God should be sought when among the alleged perilous. If one is meant to know, as it is written, proper judgment will swiftly come and the true securities of the individual will be of solid assurance for having faith in God, James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

As a side note, the theistic philosopher has a tendency to devalue insufficient worldviews, ideologies, and quite often common sense for the greater good, and in such cases, one should not be discouraged when seen as a bad guy. When good people consider you the bad guy, you develop a heart to help the bad ones. You actually understand them. To some, this is a calling. Luke 6:26 says, "Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets." If he stresses over man's perception of a righteous heart, then he has given his heart to man. But know that, for positive results, if you have to say or do something controversial, aim so that people will hate that they love it and not love that they hate it. It is never ridicule, but a compliment, that knocks a philosopher off his feet. He is already positioned for every possible counter-attack, counter-argument, and retort...only to find a big bear hug coming his way. Many great and memorable philosophers, theologians, writers, poets, and even musicians were at odds with the majority during their times, but not simply because they wanted to be "rebels". Rather, they had gifted eyes and are now highly respected for them.

For instance, one of my great philosophical influences, Søren Kierkegaard, in some way related to such according to selected writings in his journal, "People understand me so poorly that they don't even understand my complaint about them not understanding me." From personal experience, as a child, introversion is generally considered, as a natural trait, cute, but as one ages into young adulthood, the introversion starts to become a burden to the introvert. Others will at times judge him, label him incompetent or untrustworthy. In attaining job promotions, as well as finding a mate, a natural introvert must work twice as hard as a natural extrovert must work: In an extroverted society, most people seem to have empty restaurant syndrome, "There must be some kind of an issue there, so let's move on to the next one." In an extroverted society, one's outgoing tendencies are more desired than one's skills.

Albert Camus, yet another influential philosopher, similarly stated, "Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." As an introvert, I am actually rather appreciative of this. At times, what I lacked socially, I would compensate for it by perfecting my talents. I like solitude. It is when you truly hear and speak your natural, unadulterated mind, and out comes your most stupid self as well as your most intelligent self. It is when you realize who you are and the extents of the good and the evils which you are capable of. Einstein puts into perspective an introvert's purpose in an extroverted society, "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." For some people, quite frankly, life is not always about trying to be different when understanding that that is actually a burden. Life can go from living to survival looking for where one belongs, therefore my dominant reminder in this case is that, as long as one allows them to, personal difficulties, in result, accentuate an individual's ingenuity; therefore, the weakness is the cause of the strength.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Calm in Calamity (and other wanderings)

~Disasters work like alarm clocks to the world, hence God allows them. They are shouting, "Wake up! Love! Pray!"

Isaiah 45:7 says, "I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things." It is indeed controversial; yet it is truly effective in all its authoritative, sovereign implications of the foreknowledge of God; it is a source of fearlessness and endurance for those of faith. Calm in calamity: one asks himself, "Who is in control no matter what?" Although, on the other hand one might ask whether such calamity indicates a malevolent God. But by that he is dealing with subjective emotions rather than objective truth. The objective is quite the contrary, and easily mistaken, it is not about a love for adversity, it is about knowing a strength and a faith so great that adversity, in all its adverse manifestations, hardly even exists. By this one does not hesitate to progress through the face of adversity. His faith, in its most correct form, never removes responsibility; it removes fear of responsibility. The results are complete opposites with the greater saying, "God's will is my delight." I often find that people confuse inner peace with some sense of insensibility whenever something goes wrong. In such cases inner peace is a permit for destruction: The unyielding optimist will pretend that the forest is not burning either because he is too lazy or too afraid to go and put the fire out. Ironically, to him adversity is an intimidating giant.

~Just as an unexpecting child is awakened to find an ocean of gifts surrounding his bed, through faith in the goodness of God one awakens to the gifts of patience, wisdom, and courage. So, when understanding calamity, one should not limit God according to his own understanding; it results in a failure to acknowledge the sovereignty and the justice of God. As Octavius Winslow wrote, "justice is the fire of love." He is God; he is love; he is sovereign. In some cases, what seems bad to man is good in the end and what seems good to man is nothing but filth. Men are commanded to pray and love, to unify and work, but instantly labeling what is or is not God's will can reach dangerous grounds because by this, obsessively, one is fabricating his own god.

~As no servant is greater than the master, I want to note that God is the commander, thus all else are messengers; Proverbs 1:32-33 says, "For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm." The messenger that attempts to replace the commander is both wayward and complacent, yet consequently, the original sin was channeled through the desire to be like or greater than God. What is it that leads one astray from the most viable path? It is not a rare flaw in which only a select few struggle. Ultimately, it is a disposition to form our own paths, and while this is evidence of desire, that desire is bound to be more substantial when aimed in the best possible direction - this direction is one in which God reveals.

~I am aware that the following is likely a regurgitation of some of my previous writings, but regardless it is essential. God is sovereign to so far a degree that he is not an impoverished deity, with insubstantial weaponry, merely set out in an attempt to defeat evil. It is not a threat to him or his kingdom. While
he abhors sin and we are commanded to do so as well, in his absolute holiness and sovereignty, he holds both good and evil in the palm of his hand (Isaiah 45:7). He allows short term evils in order to carry out long term good [C.S. Lewis; Mere Christianity]; therefore, he is ultimately good and impossible to truly oppose. Yet the extent of such an authority is perfectly consistent with the holiness of God. With our simplistic cognitive reasoning, some things are first perceived as negative before we get to witness the positive results. But by God's foreknowledge, he envisions the evils that will ultimately result in goodness, as written in Isaiah 46:10, "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please."

~Imperative is the passion to improve one's personal walk with and faith in Christ, and in result, the obsessive contemplation of temporary afflictions cease.
This is also to seek his will before adhering to a certain confirmation bias that tends to dictate the human perception of right and wrong, as I have previously quoted this of Kierkegaard, "The proud person always wants to do the right thing, the great thing. But because he wants to do it in his own strength, he is fighting not with man, but with God." All must be still and know that he is God (Psalms 46:10), and in result they will mesmerize with an illumination of ravishing colors to those with eyes to see and ears to hear the truth of Christ.

~Finally while on the subject of seeking God's will, or the discovery en route to both emotional and spiritual value, I want to add an important observation; however in this case, it is regarding one of many reasons for stress within the self-driven busybody. In The Knowledge of the Holy, A.W. Tozer recovered nicely the principles of strong faith over contemporary misconceptions thus writing, "I fear that thousands of younger persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation his love has gotten him into and his limited abilities seem unable to get him out of. Add to this a certain degree of commendable idealism and a fair amount of compassion for the underprivileged and you have the true drive behind much Christian activity today."