Time to continue our series on meta-cognition, otherwise known as “ways of thinking.” The last post introduced us to the idea of internal versus external locus of control. This in many ways is a second order thought process, or meta-meta-cognition. This one mindset shapes many mindsets.
The goal of growth and maturity is that we develop a strong internal locus of control, or sense that our choices and actions can and do change our lives and the direction of our destiny.
Jesus once told a parable of three men who were all given resource, and then after a time, the owner of the resource came back to check on how these men had chosen in the face of their circumstance. How they had chosen, had affected whether or not their resource had multiplied. More importantly, how they had chosen, affected how much more was entrusted to them from that point on.
To the degree we learn to handle what we have been given, it appears that we become eligible for more. I think it is essential here, to remember that ultimately, we will end up reigning and ruling alongside Jesus over the eternal creation. This is not an assignment for yes-men, this is an assignment for people who have learned how to think and navigate, in the reality that God has established.
Here is the challenge; empowered by God, we think freely. This can sound like a tightrope of dependence versus independence. It is not so much a tightrope, as it is an understanding of a very simple principle. A principle so simple it is hard to understand.
We all operate from somewhere. We all choose, consciously, or unconsciously a source for our being. A simple picture of this is the idea that we operate, speak, process from our head or our heart. The essential importance of trust must be learned in order to have and maintain healthy relationships. What comes from these places is an independent expression of what truly is in our thoughts or in our heart.
In the same we way we operate, speak and process, from our soul or our Spirit. What comes out is, then, an accurate expression of what is in this source. When we depend, or operate (think, process) from the Holy Spirit, resident in our soul, what comes out of us comes from God; an accurate expression of what is in us.
To the degree that we operate from our soul, as source, what comes out will reflect how much our soul has been conformed to the image of the Spirit within. But soul was never intended to be source.
The ultimate Internal Locus of Control, then, is not independence, but the actualization of the recognition that God-in-Us does not rob us of our us-ness, rather it deeply anchors us in our true and eternally-designed-us. For a man or woman born from the Heavens, as Jesus described in John 3, self-control means yielded-ness to the new self, not rebellion against our environment.
The goal of maturity is that we develop this kind of internal locus of control and in so doing learn how we can fulfill our created design.
Jesus was never a victim, even on the cross. He chose when to fight, by overturning tables in a temple, or when to surrender even unto His own death. He chose. We can too.