“Think on these things” (Philippians)
“Prove all things” (1 Thessalonians)
“Try the spirits” (1 John)
“Judge all things” (1 Corinthians 2)
The equation in the title represents (4) four words that contribute to each other thereby making a statement. That statement is …”THINK…THINK…THINK things through thoroughly.” It is a rather simple concept but one that is greatly neglected in our country today. This equation has been an enormous help to my family and I. To summarize and shorten the T3Tx3 we can call it “Thinking about our thinking.”
Have you ever taken the time to actually think about how you think? Each day we are all called upon to make decisions and judgments based on what we see and hear. We may hear someone say something upon which we will, like it or not, make a judgment as to it veracity, to its rightness or wrongness, on whether it is good or bad. How do you make this judgment?
Generally speaking we have observed that many Americans will make their judgment upon emotion, presupposed ideas, and prejudice. We will demonstrate by using this political cycle. There are two viable candidates. One is Mr. Donald Trump and the other is Mrs. Hilary Clinton. One of the candidates may make a factual statement but it will be rejected outright due to which one made it. The opposite is true as well. The other candidate may speak a bold faced lie yet it will be accepted due to who said it.
The issues of abortion, gun control, and immigration are fraught with emotion and because of this we doubt anything can ever be accomplished because where emotion reigns facts are ignored.
Another way a person may react without thought is the knee jerker. The knee jerker looks like this, “WHAT DID S/HE SAY!!!….. GRRRRR, We’ll see about this RIGHT NOW!!! The knee jerker can and will cause harm that may never be repaired. The knee jerker is a shallow and slow witted quick thinker. However, the knee jerker has the ability to change.
We have the ability to change our way of thinking. It will not be easy but it is possibly especially with God’s help. We believe that if we have the ability to process what we see and hear we should avail ourselves of this and appropriate that which God has given us. We also believe that ability to think properly is part of being made in the Image of God.
Before one become a better thinker one must decide first to be a fair minded thinker. That is to say one must…must discipline one’s self to remain neutral until all facts and data are collected and laid out in the proper light and context. In other words, once all data, facts, evidence is collected let one review it all with an open and fair mindedness. This means we must be an objective thinker and our biases are not allowed.
One of the reason Americans have become shallow thinkers and dependent upon emotions and what others think is due to the (24) twenty four hour news cycle. One sees and hears something and must quickly make a judgment because that news story is already on it’s way out. In the pas, when I was a child I remember the news being on at 10 pm each night and that was it. News watchers had an appropriate amount of time to consider what they have just heard and saw. The watcher had time to think think think things through thoroughly and to think about their thinking. People were more civil at this time in our history.
Another example of the unfriendliness to thinking is the salesperson. Whether you meet this person at a place of business, at your home, or on the phone once the pitch is done this person wants your decision NOW. The salesperson will not tolerate a thinker. If you want to take time to think you will lose the great deal he is offering you today. When this occurs refuse the salesperson. This sale person wants the decision made now because they know if you have an opportunity to think about it you will realize it is not such a great offer or you will have time to study reviews on the product.
To be a sound, deep, and independent thinker one must, as we have already said, discipline yourself to be fair minded. One must remain neutral until more data is collected. One will then analyze or weigh the data painstakingly. One must take one’s time and remember to think about your thinking… are you allowing biases to enter? are you trying to make the evidence fit your preconceived notion or worse…your prejudice?
Another step one should consider is the points of view of others. This most helpful but in doing so one must start all over again to vet the various p.o.v.s. Once one has been faithful to fair mindedness one should consider the outcome of one’s decision or conclusion.
We would counsel Christ-ians to commit all your judgments to God before you begin and as you work through the process of proper thinking continue to prayerfully seek God’s wisdom and direction and then prior to coming to a decision or firm conclusion commit the entire process and it’s outcome to God Who judgeth rightly.
We have seen over the past couple of years what kind of horrific damage biased and prejudicial thinking has caused in cases like Michael Brown and many of the other killings. If those involved used a proper method of coming to facts so much damage would have been avoided as well as so many lives changed forever.
We see the same shallow thinking on Face Book. We see it all the time, a person see a graphic pop up which says something negative about someone they dislike and it is “liked” and shared with great speed and passion. This is done without a moments thought to the veracity of the graphic and quote. Beloved brethren and sisters, let us try the spirits before trust them; let us prove all things before we agree with them; let us judge all things with the spirit of discernment before we attach our name to it and by close association our Lord’s Name.
Learning to think about our thinking is a worthwhile goal as one can serve their Lord all that much better for He said, “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all …thy…mind.