Who stands firm? Only the one whose ultimate standard is not his reason, his principles, conscience, freedom, or virtue; only the one who is prepared to sacrifice all of these when, in faith and in relationship to God alone, he is called to obedient and responsible action. Such a person is the responsible one, whose life is to be nothing but a response to God’s question and call. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Back in 2015 I published a book on ethics, you can check it out [here]. My previous book had been on finance so in the summary I wrote for the book jacket I said;
Here, I go beyond questions of personal finance and economics and dare to ask an utterly different question: “What is the will of God?” Meekoethics is not an attempt at finding a definitive answer. Rather it is an honest exploration of the questions behind the question and a call to all Christ-followers to sit in submission to the answers they find, get comfortable with discomfort and let God be God.
Giving control over to God is exceedingly difficult. We live in a society that prizes individuality and champions the rugged individualist. For decades the epidemy of manhood was the Marlboro Man, the strong loner who rode his horse, smoked his cigarettes and presumably didn’t give a care about what you thought of him.
Today the ads may have changed, we no longer prize cigarette smoking as a sign of individuality, but the message remains the same. Follow your own path, be your own person and the world will respect you for it. But is that really who we are meant to be?
I’m an introvert but I’m also very social, that’s what the S in ISFJ stands for. Being a social introvert requires a level of submission to a greater sense of community than most people are willing to attempt. It is through social interaction that I can observe and listen for the will of God.
Ultimately it is by listening for and hearing God’s call in my life that I remain focused on the things that truly matter. Aligning yourself to God’s call often requires releasing things that we hold close, aspects of our personality and worldview that we have developed over years of personal reflection and practice.
It also means releasing things that we once thought where part of God’s will for us. That’s the hard part. Maybe it was God’s will for us to think and behave a certain way, for a time, but no more. The only way we are going to know that is by listening to God, through social interaction and community, and being willing to let go of things that are no longer working.
It’s January 1, 2019 and people all over the world are making New Year’s Resolutions. We are resolving to do new things, stop doing old things and become all around better people. Most of us will fail in a matter of days, falling back into old habits and old patterns.
Why? I’m not qualified to answer that, but I believe that part of it is the fact that we lack proper motivation and accountability. Before you make a New Year’s Resolution, ask yourself why, what do you hope to get out of this change in behaviour? Next, pray and make sure that your desire for change is in line with God’s will for your life. Finally, look for confirmation and an accountability partner, someone who can confirm the voice of God and walk the path with you helping to you stay motivated.
Happy New Year – Time to heed the call.