My goal in preparing my heart for planning and decision making is to remain in a state Ignatius of Loyola referred to as indifference. By indifference, he does not mean apathy or disinterest. He simply means we must become indifferent to anything but the will of God. Ignatius taught that the degree to which we are open to any outcome or answer from God is the degree to which we are ready to really hear what God has to say. If we are clutching or overly attached to one outcome versus another, we won’t hear God clearly. Our spiritual ears will be deafened by the racket of our disordered loves, fears, and attachments. In such a state, it is almost a forgone conclusion that we will confuse our will with God’s will. Ignatius considered this state of indifference to be spiritual freedom. If we are truly free, he argued, we wouldn’t worry about whether we are healthy or sick, rich or poor. It shouldn’t even matter whether we have a long life or a short one…Arriving at this place of interior indifference and trusting that God’s will is good — no matter the outcome — is no small task. We are attached to all kinds of secondary things — titles, positions, honors, places, persons, security, and the opinions of others. When these attachments are excessive, they become disordered attachments, or disordered loves, that push God out of the center of our life and become core to our identity. (The Emotionally Healthy Leader, Peter Scazzero, p195-196)
With this definition of indifference, here are some practical questions to test your indifference:
- If you’re unmarried, are you indifferent towards God’s marital plans for you?
- If you’re a parent, are you indifferent to God’s future for your children?
- If you’re a leader, are you indifferent to God’s vision for your business/ministry/home?
- If you’re close to retiring, are you indifferent to God’s next for you?
- If you’re in high school or college, are you indifferent to God’s career path for you?
- If you’re employed, are you indifferent to waiting on God for a promotion, recognition, or pay increase?
- If you’re unemployed, are you indifferent to God’s timing?
- If you’re unhappy, are you indifferent to what God offers as the way to joy?
If you don’t have indifference, what would it take to get some?