“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
~Genesis 50:20 (NIV).
There is hardly a more important, lest meaningful, word in the English vocabulary for interacting resiliently with life.
Take Joseph’s life, for example. His story is told in Genesis 37–50. At each tragedy he faced it was as if he asked God, “How do you want me to respond to this that’s happened now, Lord?” His approach to life is summed up poignantly in the abovementioned verse.
The Response of the Higher Mind a.k.a. Faith
In the most certain of terms we’re blessed in the use of our higher minds—that which delays the instinctual response for a more ordered one that defends our integrity better.
What is known psychologically as the ‘higher mind’ is in actuality the appropriation of faith from the spiritual viewpoint. Faith sets aside judgment for the hope and possibility of more information, it trusts in this hope, and often this is information quite apart from itself.
Locus of Control a.k.a. Spiritual Discernment
Our responses we can always control. An internal locus of control is required, however, to achieve it. Locus of Control is another schema of the psychological variety, and so how might we transpose this as a spiritual construct? Perhaps we might call it the appropriate discretionary perspective or, otherwise, spiritual discernment.
Being able to correctly discern what is actually happening in our midst is crucial in appropriating to it the right higher-mind-led response.
We have to also, therefore, believe we have control over the response to the effecting of those things we feel we need to affect.
This involves the intuition of the Spirit to divine out God’s will from the vexatious devilish will of the enemy, which otherwise would cause us to doubt any and many a good thing.
Want Good Responses? Answer: Study Virtue
The more we make a keen study of virtue the more it makes its way implicitly through our character to the indwelling of our very natures.
This is how the Spirit of God works within us, training us, toward every good and helpful response—in store for dark and not-so-dark hours alike.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.