How does God want us to go about thinking?
Why think about thinking? Because all we do relies upon this basic human process.
God uniquely gave humanity intelligence. We can plan, hypothesize, dream, and even make our dreams for the future into reality. No other creature on earth can think like humans think. Yet, with this awesome privilege comes great responsibility.
Sadly, nowadays, many people do most of their thinking with their feelings. Emotions are certainly important. They allow us to feel pity and move us to help those who are suffering. They allow us to love, moving us to protect and cherish those people and things most important to us. However, emotions in and of themselves are insufficient. People can manipulate our emotions and mislead us. And whether we realize it or not, our emotional responses are far more shaped by our family, friends, and the culture we live in. Good cultures produce better emotions, bad ones worse ones.
For this reason, God gave us reason and logic too. You would never be able to build a tall building without reason and logic. If you went on mere impulse, or emotion, what you constructed would likely be unsafe. We need reason and logic to problem solve, to think through big picture ideas, and more. However, reason can mislead us too. A society purely guided by reason might create one that worked mechanically exceptionally well, but the greater things of love, joy, and happiness would likely be sacrificed on the altar of societal progress.
So, God gave us something more. Though Christians have a term for it, as C.S. Lewis pointed out in his Abolition of Man, almost every religion and worldview up until about the eighteenth century acknowledged it. Ancient Chinese thought called it the Tao, Greek Philosophy the First Principle, Hinduism rta. Christians call it the soul. The soul helps us discern both our feelings and our reasonings. It is the middle place that referees and harmonizes both. When the greater population of people in a society stops using their souls, it puts that society on a trajectory to lose its soul. If the emotions take over, those in power will use emotions to manipulate the masses. If reason takes over, society will degenerate into something less humane and more mechanical.
Why don’t more people use their soul the way it was intended? The Apostle Paul said that human sin has made human thinking futile and our foolish hearts darkened (Romans 1:21). God sent his perfect Son our Savior to save us from our perverted thinking and to retore us to the way of thinking his Son demonstrated while here on earth. God wants us to no longer be conformed to the sinful pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).
So, let’s stop the idle talk, allow Christ to rescue and transform our minds, so that God can use us, as his intended image bearer and thinkers in this world.
Save us, even from our sinful way of thinking to restore us to the perfect way of thinking your Jesus demonstrated for us. It’s in His name we pray. Amen.
Writing: Pastor Mike Birbeck
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