How Do You Think?

ThinkHave you ever witnessed something in the dark that appeared one way only to discover is was totally different in the light?

This phenomena is not unique to children, it also happens to adults. The biggest difference is that adults usually have enough experience to know that they are likely witnessing an illusion. These kinds of experiences are not unique to the physical world either, they have parallels in the soul and spirit.
There is a lot of teaching about how we think and how thinking guides our lives. Much of the modern discussion surrounds self-improvement and achieving goals. While there is certainly validity and usefulness in these discussions, most only skim the surface of something much deeper and infinitely more important.

We may spend years reciting affirmations and telling ourselves that our dreams are coming true, only to have all of that work completely undermined by a level of thinking that is not as easily recognized or dismissed. This level of thinking is often called our worldview.

A worldview is a comprehensive set of beliefs and values that establish a filter by which everything else is viewed. For example, a child who witnessed spousal abuse at home, may grow up to view men, women and even marriage very differently than a child who grew up in a loving and nurturing environment. Simply put, our experiences shape and mold the way we see things. This is why two people looking at the exact same set of facts may arrive at completely different conclusions.

Our worldview affects the way we perceive God, the Universe, Education, Values, Other People, History and the very nature of Truth. Perhaps one of the most difficult challenges of a corrupted worldview is that we most often do not realize it is corrupted. Worldview usually operates on autopilot. Most of us do not spend significant time challenging our suppositions. Instead we live our lives with deeply ingrained assumptions and do not even realize that we are lacking key facts which, if discovered, lead to greater or more accurate truths.

Although this forum does not provide ample opportunity to dive deeply into this subject, there are a few tips that can serve as a Quick Start to improving the accuracy of your worldview:

Be Introspective
Take time out to examine your feelings, actions and thought life. You might be surprised by what you see, when you just stop to take inventory.

Embrace Objectivity:
When you are about to make a decision, or find yourself feeling a certain way, ask yourself if you have considered all the facts carefully and as objectively as possible.

Tie off the Anchor:
With relativism so widely embraced, our worldview can easily be corrupted to the point that we believe, and live our lives, as if there is no absolute truth. When we rely on the teachings of other human beings, it is like anchoring our boat to another boat. While we may stay near the other boat, we will likely drift far from where we want to be. We want to be anchored in the Rock that does not move. God alone is that rock.

Be Selective
1 Corinthians 15:33 states, “Don’t be fooled… ‘bad company corrupts good character.’” (NLT) Nothing in human nature has changed in the past 2000 years. We are affected by the people we hang around. While we are called to love everybody, not everyone is a good influence on us. Spend time with people who will mold your thoughts and worldview in the direction that you want it to go.

I once watched a show about real-life FBI cases. A particular episode was about a mass murderer that raped and mutilated his victims. I was struck by something one of the law enforcement profilers said. He explained that all crimes begin and continue in the minds of the perpetrator. Long before they commit their vile and evil acts, they think about them, they dream about them, they plan how they are going to do it. In the long run, they eventually begin to act out these fantasies in real life. They then take personal affects from the victims or even pictures of the act so that they can rehearse the crime over and over again in their mind.

The lesson is clear. People who think bad things become bad people. The opposite is also true. If we focus on the goodness of God, we become good people. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)


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