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Isolation and opinion

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
    he breaks out against all sound judgment.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion.

—Proverbs 18:1-2

Funny that these proverbs are right next to one another—each applies to my life lately.

Not that I think there's anything wrong with solitude, but it's very obvious that many times when I pull back from relationship with others and even from God, it's simply because I want what I want, regardless of what is wise or good or true. Layered on that (above or underneath? both, perhaps…) is a lack of trust in God's goodness toward me and/or His power to make it so. I want what I want because I'm afraid, and if I have to throw God and others aside to get it, I'm just desperate enough to do that.

Ironically, there's good theology that I co-opt to my own pursuits: I know God will never leave me nor forsake me, that Jesus' sacrifice is sufficient to cover my disobedience and waywardness. Funny how solidly I can believe that when it serves me, but how little weight I'm willing to actively put on His love for me. Abuse of anything (like good theology) doesn't negate proper use, but neither does the truth of God's steadfast love excuse my rebellious attitude. As a friend recently told me, "There are more books in the Bible than Hosea."

My irritation at living in a culture of constant and loud expression of opinion is rooted first in me. Of course I have no shortage of opinions—that's kind of a no-brainer truth that doesn't add understanding by acknowledgement (i.e., "duh!"). And of course I need to apply the proverb liberally and often to my own actions. But further, I need to die to the notion that I somehow have the right to live a life free of this foolishness (as if I could escape my own anyway). It's how things are—the proverb just gives me the freedom to acknowledge the noise (internal and external) as what it is. I don't, however, have license to indiscriminately attack or withdraw because of it, and when I do, I am rarely (if ever) pursuing anything but my own desire.

Glad to be out of Lent and in Eastertide. I need as many reminders of risen, resurrected life as I can get.

Comments

Good thoughts.