As human beings we are endowed with the ability to think and to make choices. We are more than the physical elements often described in textbooks, for we are spirit as well. Our true essence lies in the inner person, that which is not visible on the surface. In addition to a brain (the material) we have a mind (the non-material) which enables us to think, to understand, to discern, to review, recall, to anticipate, etc. We also have feelings such as love and hate, anger, contentment, pride, humility, and passion to name a few. Finally, we are able to make choices based on our thoughts and our feelings, and to act accordingly. Our actions are the visible expressions of our thoughts and feelings as shown in our words, and movements.
Thoughts can either be positive or negative. They can either build up or tear down. Our thinking is important in terms of its relationships to God and to others. Thinking based on the Word teaches that God has created us in His image, to have good thoughts, loving thoughts, thoughts that look beyond self to the needs of others, thoughts that build and not destroy. The Bible teaches us about how we are to think, and what kind of thoughts we are to hold on to (2 Tim. 3:14-15).
Worldly thinking is different from thinking in the Word. Worldly thinking focuses largely on the material aspects, on self, on what is comfortable, convenient, pleasing, sensual, on external appearances. These two distinctive sets of thought processes are in a constant struggle to gain control, to win converts over to their side. We are not to be held in captivity to the ways of the world, but to be changed in our thinking (Rom. 12:2).
When I look back on my many years of life in this country, I am struck by the direction that our thoughts and corresponding actions are taking us today. What an increasing minority of people now accept as rational thought and actions, a few years ago would have been ridiculed. I never dreamed that people and organizations would be saying and doing some of the things that we are presently experiencing in this great nation. This trend runs across the full spectrum of our society; the social, economic, political, and spiritual components. It permeates governments at all levels, as well as sports, schools, churches, businesses, families, communities, and individuals.
The United States is in transition from being a land of wisdom seekers, to becoming a land of foolishness followers. God is the source of wisdom (Prov. 9:10), while foolishness originates with people. Our new national status might be referred to as that of an idiocracy. This newly coined term is derived from the word idiocy which means something notably stupid or foolish, and the suffix ‘-cracy’ which describes among other definitions, a theory of social organization. Thus, idiocracy may be defined as a type of social organization in which foolishness is one of the prevailing characteristics.
Most of us will not be included among the world’s greatest thinkers. I never considered myself to be an intellectual, a genius, a Renaissance man, or anything of that nature. Instead, most of my time has been spent pondering, gleaning, and being a student of life. Somehow, with God’s help, my family’s patience, and my persistence, I was able to attain a PhD. While many of my fellow students might have had keener minds, none worked any harder than I did. In essence, you might say that I was a “plodder,” one who perseveres, who is determined through persistent hard work to accomplish the task assigned.
We might think we know quite a bit, but in the total scheme of things we really don’t know much. One of the most important lessons for me, is that the more I learned along the way, the less I seemed to know. God is all-knowing, and His thoughts are so much higher than ours (Is. 55:8-9 ). His Word describes the totality of our worldly wisdom as just so much foolishness (1 Cor. 2:19-20).
Let us set our minds on things above, not on things of this world (Col. 3:2).