We fight for it, bargain for it, beg for it, threaten for it, and focus out entire existence on getting it: Our way. It’s either innate, inbred, or we just get convinced early on that it is beneficial to have things the way we want them. And when we get what we want we have a momentary sense that we’ve arrived . . . momentary.
Then, when we have an opportunity to reflect – if we have the time before we set out on our next conquest to get our way – we begin to discover that there were casualties along the way to getting our way. These casualties are not just other people – often people we supposedly care about – but, if we look closely, we begin to discover that we are the greatest casualty.
Here’s Paul’s insight:
It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. Galatians 5:19-21 The Message
Man, if they did an advertisement for getting your way, and used that as the script, we’d never buy into the concept!
If you think about it, you know that the things on Paul’s list are, in fact, the true results of getting your way. So my question is this: Why do we want so badly to get our way?
It’s a strong argument that this is proof for the principle that we are all born with a sinful nature that seeks to destroy us (the smart theologian dudes with the big words call it ‘The Depravity of Man’). Paul tells us that using our freedom to get our way, will keep us from inheriting “God’s Kingdom”.
Either way, the risk definitely outweighs the reward . . .
Pressing on toward the goal . . .