The way we think affects our reception of external stimuli, our processing of it, and our response to it. Most of us think without thinking about the way we think. In a sense, thinking comes naturally to us.

So why think about thinking?

Consider the young baseball player who wants to be a great hitter. If he is the rare “natural”, he will step in the batter’s box with little forethought and hit most anything thrown to him. The vast majority are not so gifted.

At the most elementary level, a hitter must think about the way he is standing in the batter’s box. He must think about how to hold the bat, and to rotate his wrists when swinging. He must learn the strike zone and the field of play.

Beyond the elementary, if he has a good batting instructor, he will learn and consider the repertoire of pitches he will be required to hit. He will come to recognize that the pitcher is trying to deceive him with the change-up and slider.

At a deeper level, an accomplished hitter will start to think about the way he is thinking when he steps into the batter’s box. He will have a plan. He will have mentally rehearsed the plan. The best hitters “get into the head of the pitcher” – both discerning what the next pitch will be, and affecting the choice.

In summary, those that think before they do something are more successful at the task than those that don’t. Similarly, those that think about their thinking become better thinkers (and doers).

The lies of our life

The way we think forms, and is formed by, our perception of reality. Our perception of reality has a great deal of control over our lives – including our relationships with God and other people.

The human mind is much more powerful – and tricky – than we might think (ah, perhaps our “thinker” is hiding something). Our minds have the capacity to alter and form our perception of reality to suit itself. Here are three examples:

  1. Living out of an alternate reality. Reality TV is popular because humans find entertainment from entering into someone else’s reality. There are people making a very good living by daily sharing 15-30-minute videos of their kids. Sports fans are emotionally and physically affected by the success or failure of their favorite team.
  2. Projecting a false reality. How many times have you put up a front to protect others from your anger or insecurity? Our ability to cast a false perception of reality allows us to avoid dealing with the issues that make us so unpresentable. Let’s call it what it is: Deception.
  3. Filtering out the truth. We oftentimes struggle to accept the reality of a person – particularly when there are loved ones involved. Parents with mentally handicapped children comes to mind. Similarly, we ignore situations and issues in our lives when they (or their resolution) threaten our security or comfort.

For Christians, these matters of thinking and perception are critically important; for there is ultimately one reality – the Reality of God. Anything else is, at some level, deception!

Now, don’t miss this!

To live in anything but the Reality of God is to live outside His Reality. To live outside His Reality is to live outside of His presence.

This may be too strong, or definitive. Let me know what you think.

In the meantime, God bless you with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

Humbly yours and forever His,