Sunday, December 12, 2010

thinking about thinking

my oldest son used to have a basketball coach when we lived in northeast georgia who was loud, demonstrative, and passionate. he was a nice guy though some feared him.

the thing the coach was famous for was his repeated use of a one-word instructional phrase, which could be heard many times...and very loudly, i might add. someone would do something wrong or careless on the court, and you knew it was coming. his hands would ball into a fist, his index fingers would extend and beat at his temples, and he'd start yelling, "THINK! THINK!" ...an image i will not soon forget. our family has mimicked it many times. good times. good times.

i don't know what brought that memory to mind today, but i started thinking about thinking.

i hear so much in the church world- fallacies in our thinking and reasoning, and inconsistencies in our beliefs and behavior- and i get this all-too-familiar picture in my head again of the coach yelling "THINK!" and i wish he were around to say it.

thinking is a powerful thing, and we should do more of it. i try always to encourage my children to think for themselves and to search truth for themselves. though i guide them, i try not to tell them what they should think. i want for them to learn to think critically. i think that will better prepare them for life. i know some parents who fear their children being exposed to schools of thought different from their own particularly when it comes to religious ideologies and traditions, but since i firmly believe that JESUS is the truth,  i don't fear my kids questioning what they've been taught. when they question, we take the time to explore. the words, "because i said so" are rarely used and usually are applied to the completion of undesirable household chores. if you're a parent, you sooo know what i mean. the nike slogan, "just do it" applies to the cleaning of rooms.

we've discussed clothes, tattoos, cussing, fairness, spiritual authority doctrine, and music to name a few topics. we're real, open and honest with our kids. i'm fine that my kids occasionally address the "elephant in the room." truth be told, i'm glad they can spot one. i'm also glad that they don't "drink the kool-aid" just because someone told them that it's the submissive, christian thing to do. don't get me wrong, though. we do teach that when we challenge, we must do so with respect. the Bible says to be aware, to be shrewd, to study, to test, to ask. i believe that GOD encourages us to think and to question. i think he loves it when we do. it shows we are working out our salvation and learning to walk what we're talking. he created us to think, to learn, to mature. and i don't think GOD gets angry when we question him. i think he enjoys opening up the dialogue and revealing himself to us.

so the next time someone tells you what to think, think about it. think critically about it. ask questions. seek truth and understanding. know not just what you believe but why you believe it. simply having an opinion doesn't make you rebellious or disrespectful. it does give you power, though, so handle it with care...and probably a little prayer.

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