The Obstacle of Autonomy
Autonomy is the right to self-government. Autonomy is freedom from external control, otherwise known as independence. Autonomy is great as a concept or a motivator. Its importance to successful interpersonal relationships goes without saying. However, being autonomous can have a negative impact on our most important relationship.
If you are a long time reader, then you know that I am a follower of Christ. I believe that the world was created by God. As a result of my faith, I view autonomy as an impediment when it comes to humans’ relationships with God.
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Yet, some of us do not believe God exists, which is a topic for another post. Others of us believe God exists; however, we do not include Him in our decision-making. How can we make good decisions if we lack the wisdom that only God can provide?
Many communities praise individuals who are self-reliant. We laud people who achieve levels of success by their own might and determination. While glorying in the benefits of autonomy, we fail to see the entire picture. We are missing out on optimal resolutions when we exclude God from our processes. Decisions such as, where to live, or which school to enroll our children, or what job offer to accept are often made without consideration of God’s will. Only when we find ourselves in trouble do we ask God for: guidance, protection, or deliverance.
We do not have to live this way any longer. We do not have to allow autonomy to be an obstacle to our success. Always remember, there is one person that is worthy of your dependence. God is that person. People fail people. People fail God. God has never failed a single person. If you think that God has failed you, chances are you don’t know Him very well. Here's the silver lining: God is patient and willing to take the time necessary for you to know Him.
Do you feel like you have been taught to value autonomy over dependence on God? If so, talk to God about the issues of your heart, study the Holy Bible, and find some wise friends to study the Holy Bible and pray with you. When you seek God with all your heart, you will find Him.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”