Monday, February 25, 2013

"Will we trade the deceptive and ever-declining thrills of choice-idolatry for the unique pleasures of commitment?"

Barry Cooper with a fascinating article about "choice-idolatry".  His conclusion:
Truly committing to another human being will certainly be our undoing. It requires substitutionary sacrifice: your life is subsumed in the quest for the other's contentment. In the case of marriage it means each person forsaking all others, which to the world looks like a very shabby prospect.

But this selfless giving of oneself to another human being holds unique power to make both the lover and the beloved truly beautiful. By losing their lives, they have gained them. But we can only taste this if we commit—and allow other to commit to us.

Committing to love at great cost to ourselves is the most desirable choice we can make in God's universe. He demonstrated this love for us on a tiny hill outside Jerusalem. He made the choice to love self-sacrificially. Forsaking all others, he committed himself to a particular people, at a particular time, in a particular place. Even the living God—powerful, sovereign, utterly free, whose triune nature means that he does not depend on others in order to love and be loved—nevertheless committed himself to love one bride.

Will we trade the deceptive and ever-declining thrills of choice-idolatry for the unique pleasures of commitment? We should do it, and soon. Because even if, by God's grace, our chains fall off, even if our dungeon flames with light, we may be powerless to get up and leave, because our hearts have been crippled. We put off commitment and venerate choice, idly believing that we will commit when we are ready. But when that day finally arrives, we may realize with widening eyes that we're no longer choosing sin. Sin is choosing us. We will have become imprisoned by choice.

And for those of us who have experienced this prison first-hand, isn't it strange when the world describes us as "butterflies"? That is too delicate, too lovely. Brothers and sisters, let me propose a more fitting insect: the moth. Drawn to the light but finally unable to enjoy it. Dulled. Restless. All-consuming.
Read the rest.

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