Are You Fickle-ish?
What does it mean to be fickle? According to the dictionary, it means to be changeable or likely to change, especially in affections, intentions, loyalties or preferences. Wow – According to that definition, we could almost describe our American culture. But, let’s go deeper than that. Let’s take a hard look at ourselves and ask the self-imposing question: Am I fickle? In order to answer that question, I guess we need not only a dictionary definition but also a working definition. In other words, why would someone be changeable with their affections, intentions, loyalties or preferences?
To change means to make different, substitute or replace something. If someone is likely to substitute or replace their affections, intentions, loyalties or preferences, there must be a motivation to do so. So, the core of the issue is what is the motivation that drives this need for substitution? I would propose the driver is self. To be more precise, it’s usually the subconscious question coursing through our being that asks ‘how do I feel about (fill in the blank).
When our affections, intentions, loyalties and even our preferences are ruled by our feelings, then of course they can be easily changeable. Feelings fluctuate very fluidly. Think of feelings as being ticklish spots. When you were a kid, can you recall being tickled and loving it, even encouraging it. When something feels good, we crave it all the more but when something no longer feels good, we pull away. Just like when we are over stimulated in our ticklish spots, we begin to say ‘stop’ or even struggle to get away from the tickler. Living life this way causes us to be reactionary rather than proactive. We seek our own good rather than the overall higher good.
What is the overall higher good? It can only be something that is then unchangeable. What in the world is unchangeable? Principles and truth are the only things that fall into this category. But, some will ask what is truth? That, I am afraid, is what we all need to discover for ourselves. That’s the purpose in our journey. I can tell you only what I have found to be true in my life because I have seen or proven that certain things have worked and been unchangeable. I could tell you that for me it is the Bible and God but until you experience it for yourself, it won’t really mean much. There are clues however for what truth is and it’s usually defined by the test of time. In other words, what has stood the test of time will usually define what is true (again not always but usually).
This is why waiting for truth to be revealed is so difficult. Even searching for truth can be difficult because it takes not only time but also work on our part. Since we as human beings avoid work (just look at the development of technology), we will tend to default to feelings in order to define our truths (and we’ve already addressed the error in that process).
It’s time we as individuals took a breath and walked away from the concept of just pleasing ourselves and sought the overall higher good – truth. I don’t know about you, but now as an adult, I don’t enjoy exposing my ticklish spots, like the bottoms of my feet. Sure, being tickled at times may still feel good and my kids may try to take advantage of it, but now I have learned the importance of balance and maintaining equilibrium. My feet have even developed thicker skin so that they are not quite so sensitive. I know a lot of this information creates sensitivity in us but I would encourage you today to begin to set aside your feelings and strive to find truth for your life (you can guess where I would suggest you look – the Bible).