Perry Emerick- Mesa Campus Pastor
The other day I was driving in the car to church with my son and we were having a conversation about his behavior, particularly when he wants something that we have already said no to, or at least told him not right now. As is the nature of kids sometimes, “No” or “Not right now” is not an acceptable response, and they can sometimes make a bigger deal about it hoping that you will change your mind. We rarely do that, and have told all of our kids that…but for some reason, there are times when it doesn’t matter, and what happens is they make it worse… making it even longer until they get what they want.
It was in this conversation that I was explaining the idea of counter-intuitive. Counter-intuitive is the concept that there are things that run counter (opposite) of what we think intuitively is right. There are situations where we think that to get what we want, especially if we are not happy with something, we have to make a stink about it and make the other person suffer, with the hopes that they will at some point be inclined to do what you wanted them to do in the first place.
The sad thing is, I am explaining this to my son because I am guilty of the same thing. Perhaps not nearly as demonstratively as kids can do it, but in more subtle ways I can be just as guilty of acting counter to what I teach, what I want to do, and what will actually help my situation.
Paul writes about this in Romans 7 where he says, “…what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” To me, that is the picture of what I am talking about. As people, I think we want to treat people with kindness, respect, and love as shared in I Corinthians 13. However, what we often end up doing selfishly is the opposite. Relationally, we often want the other person to treat us opposite of how we are treating them. Our intuitive nature is our sin nature, and Jesus has come to give us a new nature, the counter-intuitive, counter-cultural nature of grace. So, next time you are inclined to throw a fit, get someone back, or do what you intuitively want to do for yourself, try functioning counter intuitively…try functioning with grace, and see what happens.