Friday, 28 April 2017

Choose Life (Part Twenty Eight)

A Slave Your Instincts?
Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” (John 5:5-6, NKJV)
We continue this week with the story of the sick man healed at the Pool of Bethesda. [John 5:1-15].

Ever heard the fable “The scorpion and the frog?” It goes thus,
"A scorpion asks a frog to carry him over a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, both would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog then agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why the scorpion points out that this is its nature." (Wikipedia)
Animals are what they are by nature and instinct, in that order. They cannot help but respond to the instinct that comes from their nature. By the same token, we are who we are by nature, choice, and instinct, in that order and with the same efficacy. We cannot help but respond to the instinct that comes from nature. WE CHOOSE to see of our self.

We have the extra benefit of choice. It can either work for or against us, depending on what we make of it. Our ability to choose is the source of our power and our leverage position for survival and exaltation. Those who seek to control us sell us the baloney, “we do not have a choice.” Their aim is to emasculate and use us for their own purposes.

Viktor E. Frankl says it so well. He says, "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." We always have a choice. That is the very basis of life's judgment. Nothing ever makes us do anything. We chose to heed to that something in doing whatever it is that is involved.

The ten (10) spies saw themselves as grasshoppers. [Numbers 13:33] Guess what? That was the instinct they produced. They were lily-livered, had no strength in themselves, and sought to hop away in defeat. The picture they saw produced in them the corresponding instinct. Joshua and Caleb, on the other hand, looking at the same opposition, attacked by the same emotions of fear, saw the enemy as bread for eating. [Numbers 14:8-9] And, that determined the instincts that drove them.

The scriptures tell us another spirit was found in them. [Numbers 14:24] That is the spirit of faith, which came because of what they chose to see. We see the same example with David against Goliath. David won because he chose to see himself as belonging to God by covenant. He did not see a giant in Goliath. Rather he saw one defiling the Lord’s anointed. His mental model, the picture gave him faith, strength, and victory. [1 Samuel 17:41-52]

Lily Yeh puts it this way, 
"A voice in me said, "You have to rise to the occasion or the best in you will die." We always have that voice; we just have to make a choice to listen tot it. We all have it ; that's God's given light. It's just whether you have the courage to step into your destiny."
We sure do have a choice. That is the basis of judgment, both in this life and that which is to come. That is what makes us responsible. That is what differentiates us. That is what makes one poor and the other rich. We are no mere animals. Whatever we make of life, we are responsible.

Our way of gaining responsibility is, choosing the nature (person) we want to grow into. It is by taking control of our mental model. For the model, we hold in our minds produce the instincts that drive our life.

What image do you have of yourself? Is it working for or against you? Can you see Jesus?

© 2017 Akin Akinbodunse


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