7 Ways to Create an Uprising.
Meeting the challenge of critical thinking and breaking the grip of mind-numbing group thinking is easier said than done. Group thinking feels so safe and we are conditioned from an early age to stick with doing what every one else is doing. The problem is that following the herd blocks us from changing the world. Jesus never followed the herd and it’s a reasonable assumption that the herd is on the wrong trail. He told us that the difference between the “Herd Road” and the “Lonely Road” is very significant. The Herd Road leads to destruction so let’s guess that makes it a bad choice. The alternative is obviously more attractive so the question is how do we get onto that road and stay on it?
This is where the importance of our mindset kicks in. We get on the road we choose and we make the choice by the way we think. So what are the features to guide us in developing our thinking habits?
1. We begin from the positive perspective that God is for us and will always lead us into the right way to live when we commit our decisions to him.
2. We add the confidence that, while life has surprises, we can be in the right place at the right time – whatever comes to us is not a mistake and definitely not a punishment; it is an opportunity to discover what God can do through us.
3. Reality matters – the way of faith takes into account reality. Nothing is achieved by living in denial. We do have limitations and we do need to match our skills and abilities to the situation. Group thinking tends to gloss over difficulties, underestimate them and even deny they exist.
4. Conflict is not necessarily bad. A lot of good can come from challenging our assumptions and preprogrammed beliefs. Only by asking the questions everyone else wants to avoid can we grow in our understanding. Faith develops by questioning and a growing faith is vital for producing change first in ourselves and then in those around us. Others will disagree with us but that need not be a negative experience. It only becomes negative when we interpret disagreement as a personal attack or feel the need to protect our position. We can relax knowing that God’s Spirit will lead us into truth so an open discussion is an opportunity to learn. Disagreement is not a life-and-death struggle to prove who right and who is wrong and only becomes poisonous when we throw emotion and pride into the mix.
5.Openness to understand others and to learn from them leads to our own development. Of course we examine what we learn against the teaching of the Bible to ensure that we don’t get off track but often the insights of others help us see the bigger picture or dimensions we’ve missed before.
6. Thinking outside the box is a good thing. Reading what others think can help us, being willing and able to understand viewpoints different from our own helps us to grow in our own understanding. Group think holds us to maintaining the “party line” and stunts our development by restricting us to what we’ve always known or worse still, we remain locked in error and confusion because we don’t have the knowledge or courage to critically examine what we believe. Our faith is not so fragile nor is our grip on it so weak that we will be in danger by understanding viewpoints different from our own.
7. Questioning is good. Matching the evidence against our perceptions helps us see opportunities and discover our limitations. There’s negative questioning which starts with suspicion and leads us down the path of spotting what’s wrong with everything – this mode serves to close our minds and reinforce our assumptions (right or wrong.) The better path is positive questioning which starts with curiosity and leads to open discovery.
World-changers are in short supply while herd-followers are in abundance. The way of faith leads us to go into all the world and make disciples, spreading and teaching transformation, intelligently interacting with the people we meet, living in confidence that faith is not a fragile act of denial preserved by ignorance but an exciting adventure in the hands of God. When we look at life differently we discover the truth and the freedom it brings us. It all begins with the transformation of our minds.
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Posted on January 25, 2012, in Active faith, Leadership and tagged Avoiding Herd mentality, Christianity, confidence and transformation, Critical thinking, Daring to be different, faith, Herd, Jesus, living in denial, Thinking outside the box. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.