Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wisdom in Captivity to the Immediate

Modernity has taken wisdom captive. Each age does this. The new “wisdom” now serves self-indulgence. An article entitled, “15 Things Not to Apologize for in Your Relationship” counsels couples that they need not apologize for every nisdeed. Here’s an example:

  • You can be a bitch without your coffee. We aren’t going to change certain things about ourselves. You may be cranky… Being honest about it is part of living in a multidimensional, emotion-filled world.

While there are several areas where we can agree, there are others that are problematic. Indeed, we should be honest, and we have some tendencies that we “aren’t going to change.” Nevertheless, we have to take responsibility for our offensive crankiness. It is not enough to merely say, “Well, that’s just the way I am, and you need to accept it!”

While this cranky partner wants you to accept them the way they are, it seems unlikely that they will accept your hurt feelings, as if they are entirely your responsibility. Meanwhile, your cranky partner expects you to give them a free-ride.

However, I can sympathize. I too am cranky. I’d like to be able to tell my wife to “get over it. You need to accept me just as I am.” Well, she does, and I am grateful for this, However, I have to also own the fact that I have hurt my wife with my crankiness and apologize. Amazingly, she always accepts my apology. This process clears-the-air better than anything else ever could, giving us a fresh start.

This new “wisdom” also recommends that we can carry on a secret no-cost, no-fault romantic thought life with the visiting handy man:

  • If you were single, there really might be something between the two of you. Just think of all the home-improvement projects that would get done. But seriously, a little what-if-ing is normal and nothing to be sorry about.

Mentally fantasizing about an extra-marital romantic relationship might be “normal,” but is it wise? Are there hidden costs? Does this secret, fun thought-life represent a betrayal of marriage? According to Jesus, it does:

  • But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

Jesus also warned that what we have in our hearts and minds will eventually spill over into words and actions:

  • You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:34)

Consequently, it will only be a matter of time before we will pay a price for the secrets of our heart. Just look at how porn destroys relationships! What will happen if we conjure up the handy man as we make love to our husband? Are we then not living a double-life? And how will this hypocrisy affect us? Our relationships?

I don’t know if our modern progressive gurus consider such things. For many, the moment is all that counts. However, while our philosophy should be a telescope to give us foresight, too often our lives and wants shape our philosophies/religions to serve the immediate. We have commandeered “wisdom” to serve our indulgences.

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