January 31, 2018
Have you noticed that these days it’s become easier for a thought to go viral, especially with access to everyone else’s digital lives at our fingertips? I’m not opposed to new technology but I do believe that it has revealed, and maybe even magnified, “groupthink” in society. It’s become popular to fit in by showing support for a hot topic and plastering it on social media, but I wonder how many people have actually thought through what they’re saying and supporting, or if they’re just doing it for popularity’s sake.
It takes courage to break ranks with clones and think for ourselves. But we must realize that creativity, imagination and real learning are never cultivated in crowds. We also have to recognize that there are no permanent “arrivals” or plateaus in this life. No matter how much you’ve seen, experienced and learned, there is always more, always a new frontier that requires courage to explore. If you stop living on this edge of continuous growth and expansion, you risk cutting yourself off from your potential in God.
I Have Decided To Think for Myself
I am not rebellious or independent, but I won’t let news personalities, or anyone else, for that matter, think for me. It’s not that I don’t appreciate other people’s opinions. I really do learn a lot from others. It’s just that I’m no one’s puppet. I’ve been commanded to arise and shine, not arise and reflect (see Isaiah 60:1).
I’ve been called to be a voice, not an echo. I refuse to be reduced to a political affiliation, a denomination, a generation, a geographic location, my sexual orientation or my ordination. I will not settle for becoming a cheap imitation of another instead of an original of myself.
Thinking For Yourself Doesn’t Justify Rebellion
On the other hand, I don’t want to become a maverick or a heretic who exchanges the solid foundation of time-tested truth for the test tube of isolation. So, I allow the Holy Spirit to lead me, guide me and correct me. I submit to true leadership and remain moldable, teachable and humble. I will love passionately, live zealously, work wholeheartedly, laugh joyfully and be completely spent at the end of my life. I will walk powerfully, pray unceasingly, give extravagantly and serve God with my whole being.
Expert Advice Isn’t Always Right
Bill Johnson says, “What you know can keep you from what you need to know.” He’s right, because as soon as you consider yourself an expert, you stop learning and growing. The Pharisees are a great example of people who memorized the Word of God, but didn’t recognize the Author of the Book when He stood right in front of them explaining the Book to them. History is full of experts whose imagination was imprisoned by their education, experience or fear of rejection. Consider some of the following examples:
- “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” (Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943)
- “But what is it good for?” (Engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, commenting on the microchip, 1968)
- “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.” (Decca Recording Company, rejecting the Beatles, 1962)
- “The concept is interesting and well formed, but in order to earn better than a ‘C’, the idea must be feasible.” (Yale University management professor, in response to Fred Smith’s paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. Smith went on to found the Federal Express Corporation.)
Where would we be today if people always let the “experts” dictate the boundaries of their imagination? How different would society be if the history makers had followed the crowd or had allowed their ideas to be judged in the courtroom of popular opinion?
Don’t Be Concerned With Fitting In
What would your life look like if you allowed yourself to think outside of boxes… If you didn’t focus so much on popular opinion or fitting in, but instead focussed on the kingdom? The Bible says to “.. seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Do you put a cap on what you think, what you’re passion about, what you speak out on based on the people around you? What if you decided to take off the cap and let God define possibility instead. Maybe you’d go after that dream? Maybe you’d start that business? Maybe you’d advocate for that moral issue (the one that isn’t popular to advocate for)? Maybe you’d question why you think the way you do?
A Christian life was never meant to be boring, but rather an adventure with God. I pray that today the boxes of what’s “normal” will be broken over your mind and that hope would fill your heart as you realize maybe, just maybe, there’s more to life than being an echo. Let’s arise and shine, instead of arising and reflecting! Do you find yourself letting the world define what you think about certain subjects? Tell me what you think about this in the comments!
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