By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 14, 2008
Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. (2 Timothy 2:7)
Why is it that critical thinking is fast becoming a lost practice in our society? Perhaps it is because we have become not only physically lazy, but mentally lazy as well. Perhaps it is because we want others to tell us what to think or believe without any of the mental exercise it takes to come up with our own solution, because if we come up with our own solution then we have no one else to blame but ourselves. Perhaps it is because schools do not teach or train its pupils to think critically. If teachers do not know how to, then they certainly cannot impart critical thinking to their students. Lazy is as lazy does.
A nation or culture that allows others to tell them what to think and how to think will become the emotional pawns of others. Hitler understood this very well as did the likes of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and others who wish to control what you think from the womb to the tomb. “Don’t worry, we will take care of you.” It should scare folks, especially when it concerns spiritual concepts and theology. Yet in our society there exists a group of folks that want to grab your thought process not through critical thinking, but through emotional spiritual manipulation. We do not find this anywhere within the pages of the Bible at all. Folks were always given a choice to choose. They were given the opportunity to honor God or not, to follow Him or not, to believe in His Son or not. It is your choice. However, if you choose unwisely without giving it some thought, you will suffer the consequences of your choice. We find God often challenging His people by telling them to “choose this day,” “decide for yourselves,” “believe on the Lord,” or to “Listen and understand.” Critical thinking. Critical spiritual thinking. Not emotional driven nonsensical drivel.
Now least you make the mistake in thinking that I do not consider emotions an important part of our relationship with God, you are completely off base and dead wrong. However, emotions come from and out of a conscious decision to serve, honor, and worship God for Who He is and is to never ever be a means whereby we judge our spiritual condition, standing, or worship of God. And this is why Paul told Timothy to “Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.” He knew that critical thinking is always the means whereby God instructs His people. Sure, you can be emotionally involved in the process but emotionalism is not to be the motivator of what you do or decide about God. Because if it is, you will usually end up deciding wrong. This is why God told Job, “Who endowed the heart with wisdom or gave understanding to the mind?” (Job 38:36) and Proverbs relates “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.” (Proverbs 15:28) This is why Jesus would declare “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:18-19) Critical spiritual thinking correctly applied to the human heart brings us the true knowledge of God. Now, remember the “heart” in Scripture always meant everything that makes you, you: Mind, will, and emotions. This is why it was so important for Timothy and for us to “reflect” on what Paul wrote and to reflect on the things of God rather than allowing our emotions to rule our thinking. When we do we realize that no matter what happens in life, no matter how we feel about something, and no matter what others may say, we know for certain the spiritual truth of Jesus Christ. Like Paul, because of our critical thinking we can declare, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
Dear child of the Lord, reflect on these things today and do not allow your emotions to get the better of you. How do I know this to be true? “Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.