Doctrine #30: Contrastive Thinking

Do you believe that God is Right and Just? If God is always and completely Right, what does that mean about you? Sometimes you are right, sometimes your actions show wisdom, and sometimes they do not. Did you know you have to be willing to be wrong in order to be right in the long term? If you were always and completely right you would have no need for God.

Do you believe it is better to be right OR be willing to consider you are wrong? How does God think?

In order to think like God, we need to intentionally prove ourselves wrong. We all have the ability to look contrastively because we do it perfectly to everyone else without trying. Using this ability on ourselves is a choice. Choosing not to look contrastively on ourselves is a choice to follow the flesh. The opposite of contrastive thinking is comparative thinking: looking only for how you can be right.

Question: Do you believe you are trying to prove yourself wrong?

Next Doctrine: Doctrine #31

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If you need it, here is the support from the Word of God...

"2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes; But Jehovah weigheth the hearts.
3 To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to Jehovah than sacrifice." (Proverbs 21:2-3)

(If you think as a man it does not result in righteousness or justice. We have to be intentionally contrastive if we want to be right in the long term. God is Just, and He is the one that weigheth the heart, not us. When we weigh our hearts we appear right in our own eyes.)

"12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death.
13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; And the end of mirth is heaviness.
14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways; And a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
15 The simple believeth every word; But the prudent man looketh well to his going." (Proverbs 14:12-15)

(Comparative thinking results in death, because a man will continue to go down the road where he feels justified. Remember, thinking like God is the opposite of our human thinking! The simple (naive) are comparative because they believe every word, but the prudent man is contrastive on every word. There are people who pride themselves in being skeptics. Are they skeptics of the words they use, or only of the words of others?)

"1 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but love edifieth.
2 If any man thinketh that he knoweth anything, he knoweth not yet as he ought to know;
3 but if any man loveth God, the same is known by him." (1 Corinthians 8:1-3)

(We all have WHAT's. Paul stated that when you think you know it ALL, that is proof that you don't know it all. Someone who feels like they know it all is comparative. We will never know it all, so we ought to remain contrastive.)

"7 He that correcteth a scoffer getteth to himself reviling; And he that reproveth a wicked man getteth himself a blot.
8 Reprove not a scoffer, lest he hate thee: Reprove a wise man, and he will love thee." (Proverbs 9:7-8)

(A scoffer and wicked man won't respond well to contrastive thinking. Correcting and reproof are examples of being contrastive. Someone who is wise desires their actions and decisions to be led by God and if they need to be corrected they will appreciate it! You will be giving them an opportunity to become more wise!)

"36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast spoken,
37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing-floor; if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the ground, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast spoken.
38 And it was so; for he rose up early on the morrow, and pressed the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowlful of water.
39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once: let me make trial, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.
40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground." (Judges 6:36-40)

(In the first section of the passage, Gideon got the sign he wanted: the fleece was wet. However, he confirmed it with a contrastive sign, exactly the opposite. Do you think this was something to look up to, or do you think Gideon lacked faith? This was an example of being contrastive. This event was even in the Faith Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11! Gideon was contrastive.)

"39 And he went forward a little, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass away from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?
41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
42 Again a second time he went away, and prayed, saying, My Father, if this cannot pass away, except I drink it, thy will be done." (Matthew 26:39-42)

(Jesus prayed the first time if it would be possible He would not have to go to the cross. Then when He prayed the second time, He asked if it CANNOT pass from Him, and He was the only person who could drink of the cup, then He would go to the cross. Jesus was contrastive from the first prayer when He prayed the second prayer.)

"1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat:
3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons." (Genesis 3:1-7)

(Eve looked from a comparative perspective at the fruit and found three reasons why it looked right: good for food, delight to eyes, make one wise. If she had looked at the one contrastive reason (you will die), she wouldn't have done it; this was God's command to them. Get ready for a HUGE point: All we know for sure is what ISN'T true! Think about it, things that aren't true can look true as we get more facts, facts that are comparative to what we believe. However, we know for sure something isn't true when we find a CONTRADICTION. That is why we need to actively look for a contradiction in order to think more like God, and not justify ourselves. We learned about deception being a Right WHAT with a Wrong or no HOW/WHY. We can be deceived if we are comparative with the Right WHAT we have.)

"7 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil.
9 Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath, on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will renounce thee to thy face.
12 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah." (Job 1:7-12)

(God said Job was a good person as a cause. Satan said Job got things (effects) and that was the cause of him being good. Satan was focused on the WHAT, what Job had. Sound like animal thinking? God considered He was wrong and allowed Satan to take the things from Job in order to prove who was right. Satan took Job's possessions, sons, and daughters. Job was still good and Satan was proven wrong. However, Satan then responded with the following...)

"4 And Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.
5 But put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce thee to thy face.
6 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thy hand; only spare his life." (Job 2:4-6)

(Satan then changed his answer to Job was good because he was able to DO things. God allowed Satan to take away Job's ability to DO things by covering him with boils. The rest of the Book of Job was an examination of what Job was thinking because he couldn't Do anything. At the end, we find out Job was still good. God was proven Right and Satan was proven Wrong. Notice, God isn't only Right and Just in WHAT He does, He is also Right and Just in HOW/WHY He does it. God was contrastive. We have the ability to think like God, which is the only way to prove you are right. If God was comparative then He never would have allowed Satan to torment Job to prove that He was Right.)

"38 John said unto him, Teacher, we saw one casting out demons in thy name; and we forbade him, because he followed not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man who shall do a mighty work in my name, and be able quickly to speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is for us." (Mark 9:38-40)

(Jesus' response was contrastive on what the disciples said. Notice, the most secure people are able to be contrastive, Jesus being the most secure man that has ever lived. When a person is comparative, they are proving they are insecure. Think of the people who can never see another perspective than their own, do you think these people are insecure? God and Jesus both looked contrastively. Satan and our flesh looks comparatively. Paul wrote in a contrastive fashion. In his shorter letters, the contrastive thinking was demonstrated within verses...)

"1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entering in unto you, that it hath not been found vain:
2 but having suffered before and been shamefully treated, as ye know, at Philippi, we waxed bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God in much conflict.
3 For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 but even as we have been approved of God to be intrusted with the gospel, so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God who proveth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time were we found using words of flattery, as ye know, nor a cloak of covetousness, God is witness;
6 nor seeking glory of men, neither from you nor from others, when we might have claimed authority as apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle in the midst of you, as when a nurse cherisheth her own children:
8 even so, being affectionately desirous of you, we were well pleased to impart unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were become very dear to us." (1 Thessalonians 2:1-8)

(Notice, Paul proved his point by first showing he didn't do the opposite. The only way to prove truth is to identify all the options and intentionally prove each wrong. Even if all the options appear to be right, by being contrastive you find which options are true. Whatever has a contradiction is WRONG. If all the options have been identified, the only one that is non-contradictory has to be true. In Paul's longer letters, he was contrastive between chapters. Flattering words can deceive; remember when we learned about vain babblings?)

"1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what is the profit of circumcision?
2 Much every way: first of all, that they were intrusted with the oracles of God.
3 For what if some were without faith? shall their want of faith make of none effect the faithfulness of God?
4 God forbid: yea, let God be found true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy words, And mightest prevail when thou comest into judgment.
5 But if our righteousness commendeth the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who visiteth with wrath? (I speak after the manner of men.)
6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
7 But if the truth of God through my lie abounded unto his glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?
8 and why not (as we are slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say), Let us do evil, that good may come? whose condemnation is just." (Romans 3:1-8)

(Early in Paul's letter to the Romans he considered a point opposite of his own in order to eventually prove his point. He even included parenthetical comments to make sure the reader knew he didn't REALLY believe what he was writing. He was considering it in order to identify the contradictions.)

Considering you are wrong, and actually being wrong are two different scenarios. When was the last time you considered you were wrong? When was the last time you changed a deeply held belief? If there was a belief you held that was based on the traditions of men and not the word of God, would you want to know?

If the God of the universe, who is always and completely Right, can consider that He is wrong, why is it so difficult for us? Maybe we are lacking something...