By Martin Cicero
With all the information that is available to us today, we can’t believe something just because it is in writing or because someone on TV or the internet says it is so. Then what are we to do? Many times during Jesus’ ministry here on earth, He asked the question, “What do you think?” Seven times in the gospels Jesus asked or is asked the question, “What do you think?”
Do you just accept what you hear and read, or do you take time to think about it? Do you look to see if there is an alternate view? How do you make sense of it all? Jesus is indicating that we need to think about it: carefully and thoughtfully.
DO YOU USE CRITICAL THINKING?
There are a number of categories of thinking by today’s standards. I want to focus on one type of thinking that we seem to use less and less because it is hard work and takes effort. Critical thinking is what we need to see more of in this world. According to James Kelly of Peak Performance Center,
Critical thinking refers to the ability to exercise careful evaluation or judgment in order to determine the authenticity, accuracy, worth, validity, or value of something. In addition to precise objective analysis, critical thinking involves synthesis, evaluation, reflection, and reconstruction. And rather than strictly breaking down the information, critical thinking explores other elements that could have an influence on conclusions.
WHAT DOES CRITICAL THINKING REQUIRE?
Critical thinking requires that we gather relevant information, evaluate the information, ask questions, assess biases and unsubstantiated assumptions, formulate ideas, test conclusions, and verify the evidence to support the conclusions. I have given you a short list, and it takes effort, but if you want to be accurate, you must do this.
There is one other thing that needs to be done. We must run all this information through the Word of God to verify that it doesn’t conflict with the teaching of our Savior.
RENEW YOUR MIND
Paul in two of his epistles tells us that we need to renew our minds. To renew our minds requires prayer and thinking. In Romans 12:2 we are told,
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
And in Ephesians 4:23 we read, “and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” In both cases we are to renew our minds. We are to think about the things we think we know and, using God’s word, determine if it is true or not. Then we are to reject it if it is not in compliance with the Word of God, and if it agrees with Scripture, we are to live it as Jesus did.
It is time for us to have a mind that is totally in tune with God and His plans. Make the effort to pray and think before we accept things as true.