The Foundation is Luke 6:46
Allow me to explain. Luke 6:46 is a simple verse presented as the precursor to an analogy Jesus presents in the Bible. He asks, “Why do you call me Lord Teacher and do NOT do what I say?” It is like building a house on a foundation of sand when you know that solid rock provides a better foundation.
It occurs more often than I would like in my practice. I especially notice it in the classroom with students. One example occurred as I was distributing grade reports. I distributed a report to a student who had not consistently attended to apply herself during the semester. I worked intentionally to engage the student offering alternatives and modifying class activities to reach and connect her interests. When she received her grade report, it showed a B average. “Thank you, Jesus!” she exclaimed out loud. As I often respond, I quipped, “Remember, my name is Dr. Wright, not Jesus.”
The Ground Level
This really gets deep when you consider that some of us, like me, see the danger lurking on the horizon and seek to make connection BEFORE something happens. Yet, you are resistant to our relationship prior to your need. You don’t want to GIVE your vulnerability (you resist reciprocity) until you can no longer sustain the lie on your own…until you are forced to give in and admit that you are vulnerable.
The result of this is my question to you. “How do you represent that you have God?” Thanking God for what you feel he does when you are in trouble denies the fact that your trouble may have been alleviated by different choices BEFORE you were in trouble. Your refusal of more sustainable choices was a dishonor to God. When he saves you, now you propose to honor him with a word of thanks. Yet, at that moment, it was ME that helped. At this moment, you can make the choice to honor ME. You refuse to honor ME and take this opportunity proposing to honor God. As a result, both God and ME are dishonored.
One More Level
Consider that the sustainable choice at the beginning was to engage with others in reciprocal, genuine, mutually supportive relationships. That was the choice that would honor God and ME. Honor, glory, redemption is in the recognition that we are all vulnerable, that we benefit from relationship, and that implementation of our interrelatedness is perfection.
It makes you feel better to self-protect. But, realize that this is not the only option. Rather than self-protection, develop discernment. Discernment is the ability to distinguish between intent, motives, situations, opportunities, and more. You are right that some do not have your best interest at heart. It is sustainable to refuse their relationship or hold them at arm’s length. Yet, you MUST develop the discernment to distinguish between those selfish individuals and others who are mature enough to offer you something value and value your contribution in return.
[ Michael A. Wright, PhD, LAPSW is a leadership coach and organization consultant based in Nashville, Tennessee. With over 16 years of experience guiding individuals to their goals, Michael has the techniques and patience to help you succeed. Follow @MAWMedia on Twitter or connect for a consultation at MAWMedia.com ]