Doctrine #3: Man's Thinking

I have experienced the spotlight. When I was 24 years old the band I played drums in performed at the X-Games in Aspen, Colorado. The chalet we stayed in was $2,000 a night, and we got to ski for free. I love skiing, by the way. When I got to the top of the mountian I had an epiphany. I wanted to go home. I felt lonely and sad. I believed if I could experieince success I would be happy and I wasn't. I attained my "plan" and it left me empty. I knew I needed to start over.

Every human thinks unconsciously, without even trying. Every human has the ability to think consciously, however, it is an intentional choice. This means choosing not to consciously think is actually a choice to think unconsciously. Even so, man's natural way of consciously thinking is short-term and focused on the physical/tangible. Man naturally thinks in a way that justifies himself.

Question: Do you believe you justify yourself?

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

"2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; But Jehovah weigheth the spirits." (Proverbs 16:2)

(All our thinking immediately looks right to us. If you said, "No" you just proved that scripture right!)

"2 If any man thinketh that he knoweth anything, he knoweth not yet as he ought to know;" (1 Corinthians 8:2)

(Proof we are wrong is that we think we can reach a state where we will be done thinking because we are right. This is a focus on immediate gratification: the short-term. We can never do enough thinking to be always and completely right. The proof, we get tired from focusing on something too much.)

"5 Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways." (Haggai 1:5-7)

(The word "consider" means "with side". Internally, when we are operating in man's thinking we have the ability to see another perspective, or argue another "side".)

"6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6)

(A piece of cloth can start out beautiful, but eventually will become torn and ragged.  The color of leaves are beautiful in the fall, yet in a matter of months they die. Externally, the natural progression of man's thinking are actions that look good then over time require adjustment. It is good to start with man's thinking, but we cannot stay there. We have heard the saying, "I'm not as sharp as I used to be!")

"19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave to them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." (Luke 22:19)

(Another way to say "man's thinking" is called "operating in a human thought process." The way for a person to remain in a human thought process is to intentionally remember or imagine. This requires us to be conscious. We can choose to operate outside of our normal patterns, which makes us humans. When we take communion it is a chance for us to regain our human thought process if we are thinking unconsciously. Remembering what Jesus has done for us will break our cycle of "going through the motions" during a church service.)

"12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; But the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 14:12)

"25 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death." (Proverbs 16:25)

(Our belief that we are completely right can lead to death because we are actually wrong. Over time a man will not be able to think well enough to determine which way is right and which way will lead to death.  Did King Solomon (the author of most of the proverbs) end his life pursuing that which led to what was right, or that which led to death?)

"21 For from within, out of the heart of men, evil thoughts proceed, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,
22 covetings, wickednesses, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, railing, pride, foolishness:
23 all these evil things proceed from within, and defile the man." (Mark 7:21-23)

(Our thoughts are the source of our sinful actions. Thinking is the cause, our actions are an effect. We think INTO our heart, and the decisions that we make are then planted in our hearts. If we think evil, and make evil decisions, our actions will reflect that.  This is our choice.  We choose what we want to think about.)

"5 For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace:
7 because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be:
8 and they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8:5-8)

(Paul also stated the mind of the flesh is death. We have the ability to choose what we will pursue. We can be after the flesh OR after the Spirit!)

"7 But Jehovah said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have rejected him: for Jehovah seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but Jehovah looketh on the heart." (I Samuel 16:7)

(Samuel thought the tallest man was the one whom God chose to be king. Man's thinking focuses on the outside appearance: the physical. God teaches us how He sees because we don't naturally think as He does. Isn't it great that God teaches us to see how He sees?)

"11 For the sun ariseth with the scorching wind, and withereth the grass: and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his goings." (James 1:11)

(We think the rich are the greatest among us because they immediately have physical posessions and look great. However, the greatest among us, in their own strength, are temporary.)

Just like a guy who thinks playing big music venues will make him happy, the way that man thinks is short-term and immediate. We want what we want, and we want it NOW! This is called the "finish-line" mentality: looking for a position where you can stop pursuing more, where you will be comfortable. God calls us to think, but our natural way of thinking will lead to death. How are we to think? Is there a way to think that leads to life?