It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that you’re always right, especially when the basis for your argument at a particular moment stems from a principle or philosophy that you’ve abided by over time and you can swear unparalleled success by it. This not only increases pride, it also inhibits opportunities to show love, compassion, and mercy. Through these set of principles that you’ve so meticulously collected for yourself, you see and operate in the world in a certain way that progressively sets you in your ways, so that you become stricter in/by them, and even require others to submit to these principles with a sternness that has zero tolerance for any kind of flexibility. You may, in error, over time, view this as you becoming impressively more disciplined and sound-minded—which may be true to some degree—but dangerously more inclined toward arrogant and negative assertiveness.
How do you know which way you’re going?
When this “sound-mindedness” is increasingly more legalistic, but less loving, compassionate, forgiving, and merciful, and prefers judgment and the swift execution of it over any path that could lead to a form of redemption for the person/people on the opposite side—as opposed to patient consideration—then something is wrong. You have not only become dangerously rigid, but you have become proud in your wisdom and your perceived ability to implement it.
This attitude is usually paired with one that is complacent to seeking the face and will of God in a matter, whether trivial or serious. You’ve forgotten that each circumstance, no matter its close proximity/similarities to others prior, comes with its own unique set of issues that will most likely require as much a unique perspective to provide adequate solution to properly sooth the issue at hand and satisfy all needs arisen. God’s wisdom will always reign supreme over every situation that engulfs us, if we let it. But we must first seek it by seeking God every step of the way in our life-journey. To forget this and adopt the belief and lifestyle that since a particular idea that we “came up with” has served us well in the past—and so we must endeavor to morph it into a “certified formula” for all situations alike—depicts a degree of arrogance and haughtiness that is not only dangerous to you and to those around you, but highly destructive of a reality directed by love, patience, empathy, and compassion.
What you fail to understand is that God created man to see with the inner eyes of the mind and heart, which in turn translates to how we perceive whatever is presented before us. This is why two people could be witness to the same event, but venture to perceive the outcome quite differently. This is because the inner eyes lead one to form opinions and beliefs based upon past experiences and exposure, which persuade the individual to “see” certain events in particular ways that eventually build into their overall belief system and character.
With our inner eyes, we view the world in a way unique to us and deal with issues that arise according to the standards that we’ve set up. It is for this reason that Jesus warned about the sort of light we let into our bodies, for the eyes are the lamp of the soul. If the eyes are good, the body will be full of light, but if they are bad, they will plunge the body into darkness. And if the light that the eyes claim to see with is indeed darkness, then how great indeed that darkness is (see Matthew 6:22-23)! This is why it is extremely important that we are not wise in our own eyes (Proverbs 3:7). It only leads us to be hasty in decisions—as opposed to being patient in prayer—and then miss the way (Proverbs 19:2), because, for every person who operates outside of the wisdom of God, there is a way that seems right to them, but leads only to death (Proverbs 14:12).
What light [principle, way, belief system, philosophy] does your “eye” see through? Is it truly light, or a cloaked form of darkness?
The saddest aspect is when we punish others because of our erroneous judgment, or drag others down with our foolish “wisdom”. People in need of counsel or advice who, over time, have come to admire us for our “discipline”, may approach us to seek solution to their problem; we then dish out false teaching albeit ignorantly (and arrogantly), that cause these people to fall away from God’s true way without them realizing soon enough the danger they’re in and the possible damage that could ensue. In this behavior, we have become the dogs and swine that Jesus referred to (Matthew 7:6)—people take their precious pearls and what is holy and sacred to them and God (marriage/relationship issues, job issues, ministry/calling issues etc.) and turn to us. In our foolishness, we give wrong advice and unsound doctrine, trampling on these precious pearls, rather than helping to build them up.
When eventually nothing is seen to work in that particular issue—as per your advice—you suppose, with arrogant certainty, that the reason for such failed outcome was their incapability to apply what you told them correctly, and so whether openly or in private, you blame them for their “avoidably foolish” misfortune, absolving yourself of all blame. But, like the swine that Jesus referred to, you trampled on their pearls, and then turned around and accused (attacked) them. It was never your fault that your advice didn’t work; they simply didn’t do it right—is the opinion you choose to adopt. If you’re lucky (and there’s no such thing as luck. Only grace!), in retrospect—after God has given your “eyes” true light—you may finally understand the danger of this foolish wisdom that you once walked in, and even realize the damage being done in the lives of others who received it from you.
Unfortunately, a lot of times, it may be too late to reverse such damage or repair relationships destroyed by it. This is why we must pray every day, study God’s Word, and observe quiet times where you meditate and submit your soul—heart, mind, will, emotions—to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, wisdom, and counsel. It is by doing so that we constantly have our minds renewed and come to the true knowledge of God’s perfect will in each and every situation (Romans 12:2-3).
God bless you as you focus/keep your eyes on Him!
About The Editor
Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a copywriter. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category.
When Miranda isn’t reviewing books/entertainment or hosting interviews on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, her journey as an author and her other activities, you can follow her personal website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.
The article, Your Eyes, Your Lamp, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).