I continue to rediscover things that philosophers of the ages have known across the centuries. In I was to weigh the dangers past, present, and future, the conclusion is that “I” am usually the most dangerous threat to my self. Others might be able to harm or detract from my goals; however it is the god within that often proves to be the greatest adversary. It is as if we, or at least I, quietly and secretly carry the ability to cripple and destroy without the slightest hesitation. The danger is now from the outside, it is the soul within.
In this context understand Solomon’s admonition of caution. “Quick-tempered leaders are like made dogs – cross them and they bite your head off.” (Proverbs 20.2)
Demanding bosses and impatience leaders are one thing, the risk of self-destruction due to impatience, frustration, and unresolved anger is a lurking danger that destroys without any thought of the consequences. It is as if I find myself out to self-destruct even as I pursue lofty goals and ideals. Do I know what is at risk? Do I understand the threat?
More importantly, if I understand the threat, what am I or can I do about it?
It is in answering the latter question that I find we face the most danger. Too often I find myself relying on the same strength of “self” that threatens to destroy the values I hold most precious. It is a vicious cycle that I cannot seem to break. The trouble is not in knowing the danger but in failing to admit that I cannot break the cycle! God is the only answer and in a way that does not always make sense.
A believer who lived centuries later gave us the process to avoid this danger. “Take your everyday life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, walking-around life – and give it to God as an offering. Embracing what God has done for you is the beset thing you can do for him.”
The question is not of avoiding danger, rather how we decide to respond to it.