Too often our humanity fools us and “lures” us into craving something better, bigger, more exciting (etc.)… maybe something others have, something we’ve wanted for a very long time or something we need as we’ve been told by the society.
Why do we forget we are not like everybody else in our society? Why do we start to divert from our purpose and look for things the world around us values more?
Way too many times I’ve found myself favoring certain voices that tell me something I “believe” I’ve always wanted to do or that I “must” do. I tend to stop being objective and that has led me to take wrong decisions. I must confess, I’ve been slanted by my wishes and whims. Can you relate?
Paul is a great example of how we are slanted by what we stubbornly think is best for us and perhaps for others too, in spite of knowing God and his commands. Even though Paul believed in God, he chased Christians to death; he was a witness (who agreed) to Stephen’s stoning. He was slanted by his obsession against Christians and Jesus’ followers… he could have never imagined he was persecuting the very Lord he so “loved”! (Acts 9:4-6)
As humans we are inclined towards jealousy, obsessions, fears, traditions, perspectives…we refuse to see the world from others’ point of view and we don’t accept that we are wrong.
By doing this, we are refusing ourselves a wider perspective which might be much better than the narrow one we want to stick to. This is often referred to as a “Confirmation bias”, which involves paying excessive attention to data, information, signs, anything that confirms what we believe while ignoring everything that refutes it.
Remember how Samson’s eye was “caught” by a Philistine and refused to look for a Jewish woman for himself? No matter what his parents told him and how much they objected, or what God’s command was, he stubbornly continued to demand his parents that they get her for him. Do you remember what happened after that? (I bet you do!) (Judges 14-16.)
Everything Samson did drew him away from the purpose and the plan that God had for him. And that’s what happens to us when we refuse to listen to God’s voice and signs.
And that’s exactly what happens to us when we refuse to listen to God’s voice and signs.
To believe and favor things that aren’t God’s will for us distances us from his plans which are far better and greater than the ones we have for ourselves. That’s when we start listening to the ones who say what we want to hear, even if that’s not what we are meant to do.
Finally, we start diverting from the road God has set for us, and what we were supposed to do and achieve in 3 years will now take us 10 or 15 years to accomplish.
So how do we recognize if we’re being slanted towards a “confirmation bias” (which will likely detract our attention from God)?
- We need to acknowledge that our inclination and interests are stronger and they are not letting us hear the voice of God; we need to silence the voices that tell us otherwise.
- We need to ask someone we trust (who believes in God and has a strong relationship with Him) if they believe we are being slanted. (This person might see what we can’t or refuse to.)
- We need to be sensitive to God’s signs (don’t be shy to ask Him to make you more sensitive to his voice and signs).
- We can ask 2 or 3 people we deeply trust to meddle into our life and tell us the truth about what they see in us.
Bonus 😉 :
PRAY and seek for God’s peace in everything you do. Every time I find something is making me anxious and is taking God’s peace away from me, I think of the options and possibilities. I always go for the one that brings me peace as I pray. No matter how tough it is to make any decision, God’s peace will be with you if you pray about it and let God in. Remember this: “(Don’t worry about anything; instead,) pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
I hope this post has helped you to identify why we sometimes are not able to reach our purpose or even some of our dreams.
If you think this might be helpful to someone you know, don’t hesitate and share it with them.
Also, please comment below or jump to our private Facebook group and let us know your thoughts about this topic. What has helped you make better decisions? What has lead you to a life with purpose? What piece of advice would you give others?
Be gracious and don’t forget God’s love never fails.