The past few days of topics here have gotten me thinking. I started to pull together different subjects from past experience that are loosely based upon the ideas of rebellion and submission.
The personality test, which rated me ( not surprisingly) as a disagreeable person seemed to be gauging compliance vs. non-compliance levels. And while I think that nurture has a great deal to do with who we are, it is unescapable that nature is a strong component.
From before we are formed factors are working together to make the raw material of our lives. From our parents choices to their DNA and eating habits, we come into this world dealt a certain hand. I don’t believe this translates into a set fate, but it does restrain or propel us in certain ways.
Years ago, Dr. Dobson, when he concentrated mainly on marriage and parenting issues, wrote on ” the compliant child”. He observed something many parents are familiar with in the varying levels of “agreeability” of children and their cooperation and obedience. Some kids are born fighting this world…. they are made that way…. and some by nature conform themselves within the family group. I don’t remember all of Dr. Dobson’s findings , but I remember that he advised certain approaches that dovetailed with the child’s basic personality.
I started thinking about the discussions that have to do with adult Christian choices and directions, and how easy it seems for some to unquestionly follow and absorb ideas that lead to harmony, and how others see the importance of change and reformation. In Christian circles there is often a reference to people who are gifted for certain callings….. and some of that gifting is in ther nature and lives. They are made that way from the beginning. This is separate from, but including, the fact that God also gives divine gifts of the Holy Spirit to be functioning in the Christian’s life. It creates the myriad workings of the parts of the Body of Christ.
I see that whether you are basically a compliant type of personality or a defiant one, both styles have to submit to the transformations that God brings into the resurrected life. The Born Again Life. All things come into submission to God in one manner or another.
But if we are constantly trying to be something other than we basically are, or if we are trying to conform others to be what we are instead of accepting their difference, we are in for a struggle that doesn’t go anywhere until we learn to find what we are in God’s plan for us.
Of the two basic approaches to life, I have felt that the defiant one is the harder. I mean, they are the ones who keep getting all the harsh consequences…. but I am probably wrong in this. It is just a subjective feeling, and logic tells me that every person has their own problems and struggles.
So what I think I am saying is that self-acceptance is a big step in our maturity and success, but that self-acceptance includes seeing our particular set of vulnerabilities and faults, and seeking to allow for the compensations that comes from adjusting to others, and especially adjusting to God. Just another way of saying becoming obedient to God. Because that is the one area we must resolve all defiance. What is the purpose of defying Love and Life? Or as the Bible puts it: all who hate Me love death. ( That was Wisdom personified talking, but Who has all the Wisdom?)
There are times when our basic bent works against us, and that is why we so need each other to grow properly and to have health on all the levels, physical and spiritual. Yet, even that need is tempered. And then it all comes down to balance. God has set things up to work in a balanced way, interdependent yet independent. And maybe that is the answer to why we find this duality so much with ourselves. The two sides balanced upon the central pivot, which is Christ Himself. The Truth.
Therein is a key to why we are so unbalanced so many times, and what to remedy it: more of Christ in the center of our world.
It is up to you to figure out how to allow that in your own life, with the ready help of God, but maybe we can stop with the false measure of ourselves and each other… that mote in the eye measure I might call it.
Ok. Did I preach to myself here?