The following includes excerpts from an upcoming book, An Enemy Lies Within. To find out more visit our Facebook page.

Thinking comes naturally to most of us. We may think about different things. We may think at different speeds. Some of us think too much; and some, not enough. But, one thing is true about all of us:

We don’t have to think about thinking.

So, why should we?

Consider the 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 of us 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 think about the strike zone and the field of play.

If he has a good batting instructor, the hitter will learn (in advance) and consider (in process) the repertoire of pitches he will be required to hit. He will come to recognize that the pitcher will try 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 – particular to the pitcher and situation. 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.

Pick anything you want to be good at – sales, parenting, writing, you name it. There are very few things that would not come off better with some thought about the way we think. 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).

Granted, there are some things that warrant very little thinking. Once we’ve master getting food from plate to mouth, there’s little gained with thinking about the way we hold our fork. Unless, of course, we discover that we are holding it wrong. In that case, we may learn that changing the way we do some things will take more thinking than we would have thought.

And then there are the bigger things of life, like our vocations and relationships. In both arenas, those that excel intentionally and regularly question the way they think. They invite and seek out thinkers who challenge them. We have learned that failure to do so is a weakness, an inhibitor to growth.

For Christians, there is the biggest thing of all: our call and election as followers of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2Peter 1:10-11

Peter’s encouragement to “be even more diligent” applies as much to our thinking as anything else that we might do to make our call and election sure. Synonyms for diligent include hardworking, industrious, persistent, and thorough. The opposite of diligent is lazy, lethargic, and sluggish (like a slug).

Wherever we are on the diligence scale, we are encouraged to “be even more”. If we knew the forces aligned against us, thinking about the way we think would be more of a priority.

So, why should we think about thinking? Because, for the Christian, everything depends on it: our relationship with God and His people, avoiding deception, being transformed into the glory of the image of Jesus Christ, our salvation, everything. Our mind is too complex and capable of mischief to leave it to its own governance. As Christians, we must strive to understand the mind; that we might bring it into the subjection of our King.

Humbly yours and forever His,