Wanting our own way. 1st Corinthians 10: 6-12
The ancient Israelites saw miracles, were set free from slavery and all their physical needs were met. They saw God’s wonder and grace. Yet they failed. A surprise to God, I doubt it. It is a picture of who we are most of the time. Paul says it can happen to us just as easily as it did them.
The warning: “be on guard”… against what? Wanting our own way!
Wanting our own way is our cultural norm! Our culture is saturated with wanting our own way.
Being “on guard” … that’s a militaristic term. Standing ready, alert, prepared. Weapon out of the holster. Not asleep at the wheel.
Not wanting our own way…. This teaching is counter intuitive. We all want our way. Pain-free if possible. Well fed, well rested, well healed, well respected, etc. Wanting someone else’s way doesn’t even sound right. Unless that is what we were really designed to do and don’t know it.
Actually wanting “God’s way” in my life means I half to believe he has my best interest at heart, and that he has the desire to make my life better then I can make it on my own. We say: Father, your will be done, not my will be done.
This is directly opposed to my personal rebellion!
My Rebellion says: “my way” or you will be punished to some varying degree. With a child, it looks like a tantrum! The same is true of all of us (adults) at sometime or another. Tantrums abound.
Narcissism is defined as “excessive self interest”. We are to “guard our hearts” against such self interest. But there is a good self interest. In essence, surrender to God is the ultimate self interest. For he has our best interest always at heart, but with the clearest perspective of our life. Similar to that of a good parent to child.
When that healthy relationship is in place, We cry Abba father. We are to guard against narcissism and push past this rebellion to surrender to him who loves us, who died for us, and lives for us, who will live with us!
Paul was calling us to “excessive God interest”, a kind of “holy narcissism”.