When the World is Purposefully Irritating Me
Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. Jude 1:8
As I was driving to work yesterday, I was contemplating today’s passage when I found myself terribly distracted. I had an 8:00AM patient and I knew I had just enough time to drive the hour commute to the clinic. The roads were icy though, slowing everything down. I spilled my coffee. My windshield wiper fluid froze and I had to pull over to clean the road sludge off my windshield. Then, multiple other drivers repeatedly pulled out right in front of me only to drive 35mph. It was a long commute and I found myself seething. My thoughts weren’t on God and his word. My thoughts rather, became corrupt. What’s wrong with that moron who just cut me off?!
Ironically, I’d begun thinking about today’s passage and how it applies to those who follow their heart. I know that the heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) and that following our impulsive nature often leads us away from God. As I was formulating today’s blog about those who follow their nature to their detriment, I found myself following my own nature to my own detriment.
I knew it was absurd to believe that the world was conspiring against me to make me late for my 8:00 appointment. I also knew that it was ridiculous to believe that lady cut me off on purpose, but that’s how I felt. I knew my feelings weren’t reasonable, but in the moment, they ruled my mind, taking it to dark, toxic places as I cursed my coffee, the windshield, the roads, and other drivers. I was a child, throwing an ugly, grownup tantrum.
This is the problem with our feelings. They often simply have nothing to do with reality or that which is good for us. They convince us though, that they’re right and that we must follow them. Everyone else can see the truth, but in our impulsive nature, we know better. In today’s passage, John warned against this. In it, he said that those who impulsively follow their own nature are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively (Jude 1:10).
Does this mean I can’t have any dreams or aspirations? No. Of course not. Not all my dreams, appetites, and desires are self-destructive. My emotions and appetites though, lead me away from God often enough that I must not allow myself to be ruled by them. They simply cannot be trusted. Daily, if I want to remain on the path of faith and recovery, I must filter my impulsive nature through God’s will, seeking and doing what he desires, instead of simply following my feelings.
Ironically, my 8:00AM appointment was a no-show.