Think on what you know…

2 03 2010

I was reminded this weekend of some of the best advice I have ever received.  “Think on what you know to be true.”  Those words are simple, practical, and profound all at the same time.  I wonder if anyone else is like me.  I can get so worked up over things that I think might happen.  Take, for example, a business decision the company is considering, legislation that is making its way through Congress, trade rumors revolving around marquee athletes from a favorite sports team, the color of carpet going in the church and the list could go on forever.  It’s no secret that there is something about change, or even the hint of things being done differently, that can ignite emotions deep within us.

It’s common to feel this way.  I would go so far as to say that it’s not even wrong to feel this way.  Feelings aren’t wrong.  Feelings are indicators of something much deeper.  Feelings are the part of the iceberg that is visible.  We are naturally drawn towards a certain level of comfort.  We are looking for some resemblance of consistency.  Afterall, isn’t life complicated enough already? 

Not only am I tempted to get worked up over things that I think could happen, I am also tempted to get worked up over things that I think have happened or are happening.  This temptation rears its ugly head when I turn on the television, pick up a newspaper, log onto the internet, or give ear to the latest gossip. 

The problem is that when we jump to conclusions or establish theories of “what’s really going on” we do ourselves and everyone around us a great injustice.  Please take time to look for what is true but don’t settle for facts.  You need all the facts.  Partial evidence can look very convincing when combined with our own preconceptions.  It’s very easy to take a theory and find facts to back it up.  Any one can do that.  That’s why we have so many differing world religions and denominations under the Christian umbrella.

The reality is that this happens on many levels and isn’t limited to talk of religion, climate change or reasons for going to war.  We are guilty in our day-to-day interactions and relationships with each other.  Will we always be this way?  Will anyone make the effort to be informed before rendering judgement?  To be honest, I doubt it.  That takes effort.  Who has time like that?  Heaven forbid we run the risk of admitting we may have been wrong!  Is it then unrealistic to suggest that if we don’t have the whole story we ought to give careful consideration to what thoughts we let slip through our lips or become actions?

The way we allow ourselves to respond to what we think is critical.  I’m talking about both active and passive responses.  I’ve jumped to conclusions, lost sleep, damaged relationships, and said things I would later regret all from getting worked up over things I thought could happen.  Not to mention the issue of “analysis paralysis” which happens when you spend so much time thinking about things and considering every possible scenario that you wind up accomplishing absolutely nothing.

Have you ever met anyone who didn’t care to tell you what they thought, whether you wanted to know or not?  They almost wear it like a badge of honor don’t they?  Let me suggest that it may not be something to be proud of.  It may be foolishness.  After all, what really matters is not what you or I think.  The only thing that matters is what is real.  Sadly, for many people, perception is reality.  Listen to these words:

 – A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart.

– He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.

– The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

-The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him.

– Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.

So, is it wrong to be prepared for anything, anticipate or plan ahead?  Is it wrong to be open minded?  Absolutely not.  There is great wisdom in it.  But in doing so think on what you know to be true Clayton King, founder and president of Crossroads Worldwide, may have said it best when he said “The point of being open-minded is to one day close our minds on what is true.”  Would you rather waste your time freaking out about everything or enjoy life and all that comes with it to the fullest extent?

Over the course of this blog I hope to share with you things that I have found to be true.  Throughout the last several years I have come to grips with many things I didn’t even know I was missing and it has been the most exciting, and liberating experience!  That’s how it’s supposed to work.  It’s the truth that will set you free!

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7 responses

2 03 2010
Sheri

Thanks for the message Darrin – it was just what I needed.

2 03 2010
Joette Waddle

Oh wow, Darren. Were you listening to my husband and me talking yesterday? We were discussing this very thing. I was getting tense thinking about a family member’s death–a family member, mind you, who is perfectly healthy. I was concerned about how we would handle his wishes from out-of-state. As Danny pointed out, I was wasting emotional energy worrying about what MIGHT happen–that “analysis paralysis” you mention. I think Danny’s words were something like, “To be so smart, you sure are acting dumb.” But I paraphrase my soul mate. 🙂

Thank you for the reminder of how we need to think, and for the scriptures.

I can tell I will learn from your insightful blog. Thank you for inviting me to be a reader.

2 03 2010
Sissy Vick

Well said, Darrin! And, just like God to give me these words exactly when I need them. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more!

2 03 2010
John Gardner

Glad to see you’ve got the blog up and running! Congrats on a great first post.

2 03 2010
Victor Crockett

Very Insightful Darrin. Words which are needed. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own “crisis”. The slowdown of emotions is needed but too often not engaged. Appears you are off to a great start. GOD BLESS your endeavor!

3 03 2010
David Freeman

Darrin, I think you’ve hit upon something that is missing not only in the world, but also in most evangelical churches. Your title, “Think on what you know”, suggest that we should be content with what we know to be true. This begs the questions – “Do I know the truth?” “What is truth?” You are absolutely right, we should meditate and contemplate truth and refute false teaching (untruths). But how do we know what the truth is? Consistent reading and studying of God’s word is the only way to know truth. Someone can tell you truth, but when you discover truth on your own while searching the scriptures, there is a transformation that takes place in your heart. When I learn a biblical truth I do not yet know, the first thing I want to do is practice that truth in my life. I want to make that truth part of my belief system and do it. If someone learns a truth and does not heed to that truth, I would suggest a self-examination is in order. I would consider myself a “truth seeker”. I want to know more about my Lord, not for the sake of knowledge, but because it draws me closer to my Master. And the thrilling thing is that believers will never stop learning about God. Even in eternity we will always be learning about the creator of the universe. That’s exciting! Truth is a vital part of sanctification. To meditate on truth is wise. Good stuff.

3 03 2010
ralph stewart

Love it ! ! good stuff

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