I Do What I Want…

There seem to be numerous ideas, spiritually, intellectually and psychologically as to how and why we react. Theory after theory tries to explain what would lead us to one action over another and while some of the theories make complete sense, I want to challenge this entire concept.

Intellectuals may say that they make a decision because it is the most logical decision to make. Psychologists may make a claim that a decision is made due to the experiences one has endured. Theologians [or spiritual scholars] may say that we act solely based on spiritual influence, either by God or Satan [or just an idea of good and evil depending on the spiritual belief]. While each of these very basic and broad ideas make sense and ultimately play a role in the “why” behind our actions, above and beyond all theories our actions boil down to our desires.

You see, we do what we want.

Now, some of you may think, “I do things I don’t “want” to do, all of the time”. Prove it… You may not want to go to work, but you want a paycheck to provide shelter, food, clothing and stuff, therefore you work because if you didn’t you wouldn’t have those things you want. Some may say, “I have experienced emotional, psychological or spiritual trauma that leads me to act/respond this way”. If you were truly unhappy with the way that these experiences made you respond, you would seek the appropriate therapy in order to rewrite the movement of your actions. So, ultimately you want to remain where you are, even if it is dissatisfying and damaging, because if you truly wanted to learn how to respond differently or heal so that you could, you would seek that. Lastly [for the sake of this not turning into a book], some may say, “I am doing what God wants me to do” or, “the devil made me do it”. Truthfully, however, if you are doing what “God wants you to do” then whether or not the decision is what you desired, it is obvious that you wanted to be obedient! On the other side of that, one of the writers of the New Testament says these words, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” This statement seems very contrary to the point that I am making, however, if we are honest about our actions then we know that in the moment in which we “did what we did not want to do”, what we truly wanted was to obey the sinful nature that we have been given the strength to run from and we did not want to live in obedience to the heart that God is redeeming.

We do what we want, the good, the bad and the lethargic. If you don’t like it, change it.

This comes from a desperate heart to no longer blame anyone else or anything else for my actions, rather to take full responsibility for my life, my movements, my relationships and ultimately my future. Pray for me as I attempt to rewrite the course of my actions, repave my patterns and live the way my heart “desires”, because I want to.

Thank you for hanging out with me for a few minutes!

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8 thoughts on “I Do What I Want…

  1. And suddenly you are a skinny black man too…HAHA!

    I kinda feel like you are yelling at me in this blog too. Thanks! 🙂

  2. Yo! MTV Raps. Sorry, after Yo! I just couldn’t resist. Anyhow, you’re probably right about this one at least mostly. While I understand the thought that somehow we almost always are doing what we “want”. I’m kinda having a hard time getting to the same absolut you’ve arrived at. Take addiction for example. While some addicts may want to continue in their addiction I have to believe that there are some who truy don’t “want” to continue on the path. At some point a lack of will, or lack of control over a physiological process or lack or support etc. may keep someone in a cycle they truly don’t “want” to be in. It’s hard to boil that down to them simply not wanting to quit enough; to say that if they really wanted to quit they just would. I can hear your response in my head as I write this and I still don’t know if I can get there! Granted this is a more extreme example. And then there is one of the examples you gave. In our desire to be obedient or our “want” to follow God or the instruction of our parents, elders, superiors etc. we may do things that we wouldn’t otherwise “want” to do. It’s trickier than that. On the other side of the same coin, we may not actually act on things that we “want” because of a conflicting desire to be obedient or change our path. So, while ultimately in most situations we end up doing something we “want” we may also not do something we “want” or vice versa.

  3. Mr. Wellen,
    I truly understand your position on this topic, however, I slightly disagree. Even in the case of an addict, it comes down to what we want… You and I both know that a verbal desire is much different than a heart desire. With that said, while an addict may make a claim of “wanting to quit” the depth of that proclamation can’t be fully true unless the individual takes active steps in the direction of sobriety. While most of my statements are made with a very direct and absolute type tone, please know that there is grace offered in this idea of mine, especially in the way of addiction. Ultimately, however, the statement is apparently true that we step where we want our feet to go.
    In regards to doing something for someone that we “don’t want to do”, it is possible that our overall hearts desire is to be accepted or loved by the person that we are serving and may actually have nothing to do w/ the action itself.
    To take this one step further, or just in a different direction… let’s use the idea of sex. There are a lot of people who after a “crazy night” would say, I didn’t want to sleep w/ him/her, however, there was a feeling that they did want or an insecurity that they wanted to try and fill, etc… which led them to sleep with someone that they may not have actually truly wanted to sleep with, but the want to fulfill some desire outweighed the rest…

    Agree or disagree, does this make sense? One of my favorite things about our friendship is how opposite we see life sometimes, it has and will continue to help me grow as man, a christian & a leader. Love Ya.

  4. hmmmmmm. I get your point. I did before I wrote my first response. But in a world that I’m sure we’d both agree is almost never black and white I just find your stance a little to absolute. Even if I concede the addiction point which honestly i’ve got only distanced experience with I still think you’ve failed to upend the idea that we may in turn to things that we don’t want in an effort to do what we do want and vice versa. Maybe you could look at it sort of like an accounting equation. In accounting the debits (withdrawals/expenses) have to equal the credits (deposits). So in the accounting of our lives isn’t it possible that sometimes in order to balance the equation we may do what we don’t want in order to serve what we do want?

  5. so, in your last statement, “in order to balance the equation we may do what we don’t want in order to serve what we do want?”
    you proved my point completely… although we may act in a way that differs from out desire… we are “acting” to serve what we actually “want”… or did i somehow misunderstand your point completely?

    p.s. i understand your stance… there is just no explination for un accounted for movement/action/response/ etc…

    for instance… let’s say you and i choose to disagree about something and in the midst of our argument I scream hateful and hurtful things at you in order to get my point across… I probably didn’t want to hurt your feelings [which would likely happen in that situation], however what i did want was for you to understand my point of view, or at least know that I was present in the conversation… make sense? So, I didn’t WANT to hurt you [which would be the outcome], what I wanted you to do was either respond or leave me alone [which would also be a part of our outcome].

    i’m almost confused 🙂

  6. Right. We will ultimately choose to serve the the outcomes we want but along the way not necessarily every single thing we do is what we want. For example, I may want to hang out with you at lunch which means I might have to eat at Subway even though I don’t want to. See what I mean. We may always serve the outcome we want but not necessarily do exactly what we want along the way.

  7. I’m not sure I agree with all of this, but I agree with the overall point (you control your own life)
    🙂

  8. Just a thought, what if you don’t know better? For (a bad) example, if you grew up in an abusive family, you think it’s the way a family is, so you continue the cycle- is that really what you “want”?

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