How much guidance?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by devilslayer365, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. devilslayer365

    devilslayer365 Wazzup?!

    So, I was wondering. On the one hand, it sounds like a good idea to have God give us guidance in our lives, right? However, how much should we be seeking? I mean, do we need to ask God for guidance in just big things, like looking for a spouse, or literally every decision we have to make, like which brand of spaghetti sauce to buy, or even if we should be having spaghetti at all? Are we ok to make decisions for ourselves? Where is the line drawn with God? Am I sinning if I don't ask God for assistance in helping make decisions in small matters? In big matters? Does the Bible even address this?
     
  2. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    My prayers for guidance basically come down to, "If I'm meant to specifically do this thing, let's try to make sure I do it, otherwise, hopefully, I don't screw up". God gave us brains, and agency, and a will, etc. We're meant to use it, not defer to Him every moment of the day because we're too paralysed with fear (that we'll do something wrong) to act.
     
  3. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    Not surprisingly, there's basically *NO* instruction for this in the Bible.
    I suspect you might be having the same experience I did. You're surrounded by a culture that clutches their idol objects to their chest and uses prayers as spells of divination. You don't feel the need to do so, and so you're wondering if they know something you don't.

    The answer is no, they don't. I think if the God of your scripture wanted you to wait on divine revelation for tomato sauce selection, the human species may have been created with significantly *less* physical and mental resiliency. Bleeting over-domesticated sheep who'd sooner die of starvation waiting for the shepherd to hand feed them, then eat the grass in front of them.

    Instead (and I'm being optimistic here), you've got a book that acts as a wisdom repository. You can glean good ways to get through a reality founded on suffering. But in the end, you're a human being who's ultimately got to find their own way in life. You aren't a punch card fed Univac, using explicit & precise parameters in order to give a fixed and expected output.
     
  4. פNIʞƎƎS

    פNIʞƎƎS Connoisseur of Memes Staff Member

    Great question. I've wondered about this myself many many times. After all these years, I'm still not sure I know the answer.
     
  5. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    Part of being a good steward is using your brain.

    Owners don't like stewards too much that are constantly asking for guidance on mundane issues.

    If you know the Master, you know want He wants and expects, you know the freedom He gives, and He expects you to use the brain he gave you.
     
  6. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    I figure if something is particularly important to God he is quite capable of letting me know. I don't honestly think God cares whether I choose this brand or that brand of spaghetti sauce, what car I drive, whether I wear that blue shirt with my green pants or any number of other mundane issues. This is as far as general day-to-day life goes, if I'm turning a blind eye to the starving while polishing my collection of Lamborghinis that's a different matter.

    I don't have a problem with the notion that God has a plan for my life but suspect the idea that there is a very clearly and narrowly defined path intended for me and that any deviation from the path is a Bad Thing, is itself a toxic teaching. It's the kind of teaching that leaves people endlessly fearful that they might make the wrong choice and find themselves outside God's will without even realising it. And, you know, the consequences of eating spaghetti on Thursday night when God really thought I should be eating pizza on Thursday and leaving the spaghetti for Friday could have eternal ramifications.
     
  7. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    You have a conscience to guide you with moral/ethical decisions of right/wrong. These are the decisions God gets involved with because there are consequences if you sin.

    For major life decisions (like where to live, where to work, who to marry, whether or not to marry or be in a relationship etc. etc.) you can enlist the help of close, trustworthy people who are known for their wisdom and good sense. Such as your spouse, family members, friends, etc. Combine this with prayer petitions asking for guidance, direction and wisdom.

    For minor decisions having to do with personal preference, you have been given some measure of mental ability to help you figure out pros/cons and see if the decision makes any sense to and for you.

    It's not rocket surgery. :)

    I honestly think that people who attempt to continually seek God's counsel over such minor things like buying spaghetti or whatever, have somehow developed a fear of making adult decisions for themselves, and should seek counseling to get that matter resolved.

    Of course some of this also has to do with living in a first-world country where excess is everywhere and you have way too many options, which isn't always a good thing and can cause some paralysis over which brand of cough syrup to buy when there's 30 different kinds on the shelf of any pharmacy you walk into. Or having the ability to google and so finding out that every decision you've ever made about anything was probably wrong, according to the Internet Life Experts. :rolleyes:
     
  8. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    I remember reading something a while back that said the average person has to make more decisions in a single day than Stone Age Man had to make in most of his lifetime. Much of the time we are presented with lots of options where it doesn't matter and few options where it does matter. You can go into Wally World and choose from 463 different brands of toothpaste, but too bad if you'd rather buy your tube of Bloo-Mint (the only one Wally World doesn't sell) at any other store because, well, there aren't any other places that sell toothpaste.

    It's also interesting how many people will spend endless time researching something of critical importance like a DVD player because, you know, they don't want to buy The Wrong Model. But when it comes to something trivial, like funding their retirement, they just shrug and say they don't understand all that financial stuff and just sign on the dotted line of whatever is put in front of them without even reading what they are signing. It's like people want to be adults when it suits them but when it involves actually taking some responsibility they want to totally abdicate that responsibility to someone else. Whether it be the financial adviser or some oddball idea of God (you know, the God who guides us and even if we don't listen will still protect us from the consequences of a bad decision), people want to be able to hide behind "but you said..."
     
  9. DaniH

    DaniH You're probably fine.

    The world is full of people who have handed over their adult power to others, and then are riddled with continual anxiety because those others don't necessarily use that power for the benefit of the person who handed it to them.

    Too bad so sad? Take your power back, then, and go do some adulting.
     
  10. tango

    tango ... and you shall live ... Staff Member

    Makes perfect sense.

    The thing I'm most amazed by is the way people totally abdicate responsibility for their long term financial future. They talk to a financial adviser, assume what the adviser says is just right for their needs, sign the dotted line without reading the agreement and without understanding where their money is going. Then if the investment does well they crow about how clever they were and if it does badly they complain that the adviser sold them the wrong product and expect redress.

    As a rule I always figure that if I'm doing business with you (generic you) then I assume you're looking out for your interests first, and my interests insofar as you want to sell me something that at least appears to tick the boxes I want ticked. If I assume you're more interested in meeting my needs than your own, chances are I'm going to come away disappointed.
     
  11. RabbiKnife

    RabbiKnife Open the pod bay door, please HAL.

    Math is too hard.

    I think we should just all depend on the government to take care of us.

    This personal responsibility thing gets in the way of my SpaceBook, ImaTwit, StarChucks, and NutFlix...
     
  12. hisleast

    hisleast FISHBEAT!

    Math is the initiate's guide to the Atheist God of Science!
     
  13. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    But that said, any mathematician who is an atheist isn't paying attention.
     
  14. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    Why?
     
  15. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    The mathematics of the universe is beautiful. The notion that they can come to be, purely from some natural undirected process, is asinine. for life
     
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  16. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    I've never considered math coming from a natural, undirected process either. But I see it as a human-conceived abstraction. I see no intrinsic tie to the supernatural. But perhaps your philosophical training says something else?
     
  17. Scooby_Snax

    Scooby_Snax Rut-Roh

    What I heard Kierkegaard say was that the mathematics of the universe is amazing and ingenious. This ties into creation from a higher being so perfectly that it could not have just "poofed" into being?
     
  18. teddyv

    teddyv The horse is in the barn. Staff Member

    Math is a way of describing the world. I would say it was borne out of a human need to count and record things (in early agriculture mainly). But it is something that has developed throughout human history. I don't think the universe was born with any mathematics in and intrinsic sense. I don't think I am explaining this the way I want though.
     
  19. Kierkegaard

    Kierkegaard Life is not a problem to be solved Staff Member

    Maths are a human abstraction of a fundamental, underlying structure of the universe. How we discuss that structure can change, but the structure itself does not. That we're able to think in an ordered and logical way, and then discover the mathematics of the universe to be ordered and logical as well (and in the same way) should be mind-blowing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  20. ProDeo

    ProDeo What a day for a day dream

    Speaking of mind blowing, when I let go a feather it will slowly fall, an apple will fall much faster due to its weight. So why on earth doesn't fall earth since it is a trillion (or so) times more heavy, but it does not. And the answer is mind blowing. When I look at the sun, I can see it because it's a giant sphere on fire. But then when I look at the moon I think, wait a minute, wasn't it totally dark over there when Armstrong landed? Until I realized the answer.
     

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