I live in a 62+ community. We have a small market. To promote physical distancing, one door is marked as an entrance and the other door as an exit.
The other day, I was speaking to a friend when he went in the exit door. When I pointed this fact out, he replied, “Yeah, I know, but I don’t see a problem.”
His response got me thinking about other places people can apply the same logic.
“I know the speed limit is 70, but I don’t see a problem if I go faster. I’m a good driver.”
“We are two consenting adults, so I don’t see a problem with sleeping together.”
“I don’t see a problem if I borrow some tools from work. Besides, I will bring them back.”
“I don’t see a problem if I try a beer. It is not like I am going to become an alcoholic at 16.”
“I don’t see a problem if I don’t wear a mask. I’m healthy.”
Okay, maybe I took an innocent statement and cited much more critical examples. However, I submit the attitude behind the statement has two prideful drivers.
When the statement is said, where is the focus? It is inward. It is about me and my view of the world.
As Latter-day Saints, where should our focus be? Outward. Ministering, caring, and loving others.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35).
The “I” disease is as easy to catch as the common cold. “I want.” “I need.” “I deserve.” All statements. All demanding.
Men and women of Christ cure themselves from the “I” disease my ministering and caring. “What does Bob need?” “How can I help Mary with her newborn?” “Who can I visit today?” All questions. All ways to serve.
I invite us all to cure the “I” disease and continue to be inoculated as we serve others.
Your thoughts vs. God’s thoughts
Another issue with the statement is placing your thoughts before God’s thoughts. By saying, I don’t see a problem” you are placing your thoughts or views before God’s thoughts and views. And that just isn’t possible.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Let me share a story that illustrates God’s higher thoughts and view.
A few weeks ago, I was speaking to another friend and he shared a recent experience he had with a brother who refuse to come to church “as long as I have to wear a mask.”
My friend asked, “If Jesus was sitting next to you in the sacrament meeting, would he have a mask on or not?”
The man replied, “A mask.”
He quietly replied, “Because He would care for others.”
That, my friends, is God and Jesus’ higher thoughts and views. Rather than trying to supplant God’s view with our own, we should work to raise our thoughts and views higher.
I invite you to think the next time you don’t see a problem, ponder the attitude behind your statement. You might just change your choice.