Saturday, July 18, 2015

Understanding and Accepting the “Chameleon Effect”


“Evil draws its power from indecision and concern for what other people think.”
 Pope Benedict XVI
CHAMELEON is the former designate of a time gone by for me. A former manager would often refer to me as a chameleon for my capacity to change my mind. It wasn’t always hedged in negative terms. Indeed, he would often be surprised how “God” would change my mind. Occasionally it was a witness of God’s ability to transform me by the renewing of my mind. But I also vacillated in that season of my life. And we can be forgiven for being in a period of vacillation where we might take the counsel of James 1:7-8 as rampant discouragement: “for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”
Earlier in James (verse 5) it counsels us to seek from the Lord, wisdom, for God is generous and the giver of every good gift (verse 17). So long as we are seeking wisdom from the Lord, and we seek it persistently, we can be assured we counteract the counsel of James 1:7-8 by our obedience of faith.
This is where others come in: trusted others.
“Concern for what other people think” is not the same as relying on the prayerful guidance of those God has placed in our lives.
“Concern for what other people think” is more about what the broader population might assume by judgment and ridicule and partiality against us. They are neither trustworthy nor are they trusted, yet we are so easily influenced by what they think.
This ought not to be. It ought to be the material of prayer — that God would give us sufficient capacity of focus to elevate the trusted voice to primacy. We are so dogged in life by what others think. It is so veritably destructive!
God has placed wise people in our lives — they are wise by virtue that they act for our betterment without the partiality of favouritism. They seek what is only best for us. They deliver us with perspective — just in time in so many cases.
So, being a chameleon is to be expected in some indecisive seasons of life. Best be patient whilst urgently seeking the wise direction through it.
Best, in indecision, not to make decisions hastily, for the tide of wisdom turns unpredictably. Best, instead, to weigh decisions carefully and patiently. God’s way will come.
Taking the calm, prayerful approach in the valley of indecision is best. Less regret that way. God’s way will come.
***
Evil draws its power from indecision,
And from what other people think,
Better by far to wait upon God,
And upon only his wisdom to drink.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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