I’ve actually been thinking about it more since the road trip and I think I’m with Dave.
Actually, before that, another thing I’m kind of with Dave. I don’t think consistency in and of itself is good. I suppose that’s fairly obvious. But yeah, one of the things I want to be most is teachable, and that almost requires inconsistency in a long term sense. In the form of growth. It’s just, you want to be consistent in good things and grow to be inconsistent in bad things. So I don’t think inconsistency is inherently bad, especially in regards to opinions over time (as opposed to simultaneously holding contradictory opinions). Henry’s right though that Dave takes it too far at times. But still, inconsistency itself, I dunno, it’s not wrong.
I know I’ve written about this before. But oh well, this page is nothing if not redundant.
So here’s what I think about the doing the most you can thing. I think Dave is right. The right thing is always to do the most you can. Is that bold? I dunno, it’s what I think. But here’s why I’m against gunners still. I think that gunners, by trying to achieve so much, end up accomplishing less, if that makes any sense.
I dunno, I was impacted by what I heard from a friend recently, how he realized that he was so goal oriented spiritually that he ended up overlooking or hurting people. That was really interesting to me. Because that’s clearly missing the point, right? Christianity is all about relationship. Everything in Scripture is presented in terms of relationship. So if in pursuing a spiritual goal you’re neglecting or hurting relationship, it must be wrong. It’s kind of ironic, I thought. That in trying to reach huge numbers of people, you actually end up neglecting people.
I actually think that’s common among spiritual gunners. In trying to achieve these lofty goals, they end up hurting or neglecting people, and so they make less of a real impact, according to the most important metrics. I guess it comes down to having God’s standards, not man’s, His perspective, not ours.
So that’s my current thinking. We should do the most we can, I think. It’s just, we should use God’s metric, and I think spiritual gunners often end up doing less according to that because they’re too focused on a human goal, as well conceived as it may be. That’s my take.
But Dave presented this scenario. Say you could save 1 person. Or you could save 2 people, the first plus another. He was saying the second is *always* better. Henry disagreed. I wasn’t sure. But I’ve thought about it, and I think I have to go with Dave. Saving 2 people is *always* better than saving one.
This is only true if there are no confounding factors. Like, Henry points out (correctly) that the motivation behind spiritual gunning can be pride. That’s bad. But let’s say that’s not an issue here. The reservation I have is that when you try to do too much, have human lofty ambitions, then you end up accomplishing less in real terms. To use a simple if poor example, if you try to reach 1 million people and reach for that alone, you may end up reaching less people than if you focused on just 5 people in your immediate sphere. Not a perfect example but you get my point.
So, ignore those things, say they aren’t at issue for now, and just consider Dave’s scenario on its own terms. Is saving 2 people better than saving 1? No pride or anything confounding it. And not attempting to save more and failing, but actually doing it. Is it better?
I dunno, I think it must be true that it’s better, both logically and (more significantly) Scripturally. The most important thing is God’s will. But when would the 2nd scenario not be God’s will? Based on Scripture? I can think of lots of examples that seem to indicate His will is that we reach as many as we can. Talents, harvest stuff, Paul writing about wanting to reach as many as possible. What is there to indicate that His will would be that we not reach as many as we are able? Not more than we are able, but as many as we can? I dunno, there might be passages out there, I’m just saying they don’t come to mind. So for now, based on the Scriptural support I can recall, that’s where I stand.
But yeah, that’s my fundamental problem with spiritual gunners. Because they try to do too much, they end up accomplishing less. I dunno, this is all a rehash of my It’s a Wonderful Life philosophy, but yeah. I think doing small things end up making the biggest difference.
That said, Dave said something that convo that he didn’t mention on his page that’s very true for me. In general, my problem isn’t that I try to do too much but that I try to do too little. So as wrong as spiritual gunning might be, that’s not what I need to be worried about. I dunno, maybe I should write an entry about spiritual settling because that’s my real problem.