Doctrine #8: Animal Thinking

Animals are constantly in "survival mode." A mother bear will eat her children if she is hungry enough. A wolf will kill their brother in order to be the alpha male. A dog will get beaten by their master and will keep their tail between their legs every time they see another person.

We, as people, have the option to function like animals. Are there people in your life who are ruled by the patterns and commitments they have made; people who are only surviving?

Animals have knowledge without effort. This is called "cognition" and is accomplished with the unconscious brain. However, no matter how much effort they exert, they do not have understanding and wisdom. Animals don't have a conscious brain. Animals do not use words. An animal does not have "meta-cognition": the ability to intentionally remember or imagine. An animal focuses only on the WHAT.

Question: Do you believe there is any area in your life where you think like an animal?

Next Doctrine: Doctrine #9

Table of Contents

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

"1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said,
2 How long will ye hunt for words? Consider, and afterwards we will speak.
3 Wherefore are we counted as beasts, And are become unclean in your sight?
4 Thou that tearest thyself in thine anger, Shall the earth be forsaken for thee? Or shall the rock be removed out of its place?" (Job 18:1-4)

(Bildad stated that intentionally searching for words and speaking is what man does. Beasts don't intentionally speak and they don't use words. Words ought to be spoken with understanding, we ought to "consider" what we say. The word consider comes from two words, "con"="with" and "side". Animals only have one perspective, but humans can argue for another side than the one they originally see.)

"20 Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, Is like the beasts that perish." (Psalm 49:20)

(Psalms 49 stated a man who didn't understand was the same as an animal. Are there things that you are trying not to understand? Things that you don't want to understand?)

"15 Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven: and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:
16 let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the lowest of men." (Daniel 4:15-17)

(Nebuchadnezzar was given a beast's heart so that he would know God was the Most High. Animals operate completely upon facts (WHAT's), so they have a pattern in them that only operates based upon reality. Also, animals cannot lie because lying requires operating outside of reality or outside of their patterns. God being the Most High is REALITY!)

"34 And at the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth for ever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation." (Daniel 4:34)

(When Nebuchadnezzar lost his beast's heart, his understanding returned. Animals recognize that there is something above them, something "higher" than themselves. They have fear that they will be destroyed by something that is bigger or higher on the food chain than themselves. We also have fear. How are we different? We can choose to see ourselves as higher than anyone, even God.)

"32 If after the manner of men I fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." (1 Corinthians 15:32)

(Paul compared people who didn't understand and make wise choices to beasts. In fact, he showed that beasts weren't able to profit. Remember, an animal can only survive, therefore their external actions are not profitable.)

"6 And the tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by hell.
7 For every kind of beasts and birds, of creeping things and things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed by mankind.
8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison.
9 Therewith bless we the Lord and Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the likeness of God:
10 out of the same mouth cometh forth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." (James 3:6-10)

(Animals don't speak words. Consequently, they can't be profitable or unprofitable spiritually. Words can create or destroy spiritually. These doctrines are tools which can be used to either carve a sculpture or as a weapon to hurt those around us.)

"10 For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision,
11 whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle gluttons.
13 This testimony is true. For which cause reprove them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith,
14 not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.
15 To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled.
16 They profess that they know God; but by their works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." (Titus 1:10-16)

(Beasts are idle, unsound, and have a defiled mind. They still have knowledge but they don't have understanding or wisdom, which is the same as being vain or a deceiver.)

Understanding and wisdom are the keys to being more than an animal. God has given everyone the pieces to be something more than an animal. But before one has understanding, they need to know how important words are. How would you feel about someone only wanting facts from you; someone who wasn't trying to understand you? Do you think God wants us to gather facts about Him, while not trying to understand Him?