1 + 2 = 75.
What? How did you get 75? Everyone knows this is faulty math. Faulty math is easy to spot. Faulty thinking is not so easy.
This situation, plus that comment, plus what I know from my experience, must equal THIS…
A thought equation is just like a math equation. We gather a few pieces of information and leap to a conclusion. We use thought equations every day to make sense of our world. And we quickly conclude about situations: We know this situation. We know that situation. We know a person. They’re just like that other person. We know their motivations. When we really don’t. Our quick conclusions about things or people is often little more than our pride of opinion that makes quick judgments.
We are mostly unaware of our tendencies to leap to conclusions and judgments. We do it quickly, easily, and often with little or wrong information.
Our conclusions reveal a lot about our thinking. If our conclusions tend to negativity it’s an indication we have faulty thinking. If our conclusions tend to negatively judge people we have wildly faulty thinking. This reveals we have set ourselves up as judge over another person’s heart.
Why do we do this? Why leap to wrong conclusions–fully believing our judgments are reality? Why judge people?
Negative conclusions are often made in isolation or with the sympathetic ear of a gossipy person(s) who we know is favorable to our opinion. Negative conclusions rarely come from open and honest conversations with the person involved.
Negative conclusions never come out of the Presence of our All-knowing, All-loving God because this is not in His Nature. If we are truly seeking God, we’ll find it harder and harder, eventually impossible, to judge others negatively.
Negative conclusions are a form of self-defense and self-protection. Subconsciously we defend ourselves. We defend our hearts, our position, our pride, our insecurity. The tendency to judge others is because it’s easier to look at someone else’s problems than face our own. We allow ourselves the luxury of judging others so we can ignore our own faults.
When we judge another person it says more about our heart. It reveals how incredibly graceless we can be, no matter how self-righteous or spiritual our judgments might sound. Jesus said, You judge by human standards; I judge no one, John 8:15.
Our hearts shrink with every negative judgment we make about another person. Yet we are called to live large-hearted and generous toward people. We are called to love and prefer one another, to build one another up. We are commanded to disciple people. Loving people is our job, the job of every Christian. We cannot do this while leaping to wrong conclusions and judging people.
So how do we fix faulty equations?
Fixing faulty equations requires me to examine my thinking. Not other people’s.
It requires me to be responsible before God to ask, Do I have it wrong here? Is there something I need to repent of? A person I need to soften my heart toward?
Fixing faulty equations requires repentance. I must allow the Word of God to search and probe my heart; all the depths of me. If I don’t do this, all my thinking will be faulty because if my thinking is not filtered through the Word it will be polluted by the world.
David knew this and prayed, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me, Psalm 51:10. David brought his heart to God asking God to cleanse and purify it, continually. It wasn’t a one-time thing. It was David’s life-long habit. It can be ours.
The Apostle Paul said, Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Romans 12:2. We need constant renewing and cleansing by the washing with water through the Word, Ephesians 5:26.
The Word purifies our thinking because it divides truth from fiction, The Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, Hebrews 4:12.
God fixes our faulty equations through His Word. The more we place our lives before Him, the more we expose ourselves to His Word, the more His Truth and perspective becomes our reality.
Related posts: Don’t put people in a box, Our Lazy Brain, Gossip is a refuge for the insecure, Gossip.