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Curiosity, the lost virtue.

God wants us to act on our curiosity. Look to His original design for humanity as told in Genesis 1. He created mankind naked and unashamed, showed them the vastness of His creation, and commanded us to ‘tread upon the whole Earth’. We know that things didn’t turn out well, but just imagine what it would have been like if we had done what God asked! What would our experience have been?

Imagine being Adam or Eve, and spending your life exploring the whole Earth. What wonder would fill your imagination as you took in the sights. You would go wherever your curiosity led you, and you would be FREE!

All throughout biblical history, God has asked us to Go, but we huddled instead. We have an adventurous God, but we are driven by fear and insecurity. God made adrenalin for us to enjoy, but we settle for safety. He wants us to experience and learn, but we are content with what we know.

The Jewish concept of salvation is not what most Christians understand. We Christians see it as little more than ‘getting saved by accepting Jesus’. We then live our lives and wait to ‘go to heaven’ one day. Jewish Rabbi’s teach that the Hebrew word for Salvation literally means ‘Wide Open Spaces’

Wait, what?

Remember the old western movies? After all the drama resolves, the hero would ‘ride off into the sunset’. Where would he go? Wherever he wanted… wherever his curiosity would take him. Wide Open Spaces means freedom!

So, if Salvation means ‘Wide Open Spaces’, then what is the opposite? It is restriction, being burdened, bound up, under pressure, weighed down and finding it difficult to breathe.

After the earthquake in Haiti years ago, we all saw pictures of people trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. After their house came crumbling down, (an apt metaphor) they found themselves buried beneath weights too heavy for them to lift. Without outside intervention, they would be lost. Rescuers would come along and call out “I’m here and want to save you. Is there anyone down there?” The trapped person only needed to respond to the call and the rescuer would eagerly busy himself to free them. Once saved, the person would be free!

A perfect illustration of God’s salvation!

Now Imagine being the rescuer. You come upon the scene and the injured person is under the rubble. You call out and they answer. Their voice is not calm, loving or reassuring, but is loud, tense, and urgent. No surprise in that, so you get to work. As you continue lifting away the burdens, they keep screaming in pain, but then they escalate and say “can’t you work faster?”. You think to yourself “How dare they! Don’t they see how hard I’m working? Don’t they appreciate what I am doing for them? Why are they criticizing me?” And then you leave them and go grab a drink with some friends.

Not exactly a storybook ending.

This is what we do in our relationships all the time. When there are disagreements and arguments, at some point we stop viewing our partner with empathy and love, and we place our focus on ourselves. As soon as we shift focus to ourselves, it’s the beginning of the end.

Curiosity is a large part of the cure. In dialog, keep your focus on the other person and keep asking questions. If they say something that feels offensive, don’t take the bait; stay curious! Ask questions to draw them out into the warm sunlight where they find a loving and safe friend. Chances are good that they are simply trying to connect with you on a much deeper level.

Perhaps in this way you can walk off into the sunset… together!

Conversation Questions:

  • What triggers cause you to begin thinking of yourself during a discussion? What reminders could you put in place to prevent this from happening?

  • Are you in a relationship where you are usually the focus? If so, are you curious about the other person, or secretly satisfied that it’s all about you?

  • Are you in a relationship with someone that doesn’t show interest in you as a person? Is there a way to reestablish balance, or are they just using you for their selfish ends?

We at New Life Counseling Center find joy in helping people escape entangled relationships and form solid healthy relationships that nourish the soul.

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