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Pointers along the way #71

Proactive thinking
- Jacob Ninan

Have you noticed that one of the questions Jesus frequently asked His disciples was, "What do you think?" He wanted to know if they had thought about the issues that came up as they dealt with different situations in life. This also tells us that He wants us to think for ourselves about the issues that we face.

Many Christians seem to have handed over their thinking to their priests, pastors or prophets. They seem to think that they are not capable or equipped enough to think for themselves because they do not have a theological background. Some seem to be too lazy to think. Some are obviously trying to transfer the responsibility for their actions to their leaders! Some leaders apparently enjoy such dependence that their people have on them, and some even use it to manipulate their followers.

But Jesus wants us to think, and have our own opinion about different people and things. Did you know that even when a recognised prophet speaks, we are supposed to examine what he says and make sure that what he says fits in with what God's word says? (1Th.5:20,21;1Co.14:29;1Jn.4:1). In other words, don't swallow everything blindfolded! Don't be overawed by the 'greatness' of the prophet or fear his wrath. There is no man who is infallible or who knows everything.

We need to be humble before the Lord, when we do our thinking. We acknowledge that He is always right even when we cannot understand His ways. When God says something clearly in His word, we must accept it. We also recognise that there are people who are more mature and experienced who can guide us to the truth, and we listen to them without giving up our right to differ with them. When we don't understand something we must search out the answers honestly and humbly (Pr.25:2), recognising that as long as we are here on earth we need to be willing to learn and change.

In this way we can become mature ourselves, and become able to stand without wavering in times of adversity or misunderstanding. Then we can also help the others to grow up and become strong.