Do you know that your level of insightfulness affects your capacity to love? I can prove it. Those who are not that insightful are limiting their capacity to love God and to love others. Would you describe yourself as objective and observant? Do you think things through? Do you use discernment as much as you employ opinion, feelings, and surface level ideas? Could you use a little brush-up course on being insightful as a spouse, parent, or student?
I recently had breakfast with a professor who teaches master’s level courses at a well-known University in the south. In a casual conversation, I asked him about his observations concerning trends in education, etc., etc. I found his answer quite interesting and applicable. Today’s master’s level academic has apparently missed out on acquiring a knack for critical thinking. Today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders have difficulty problem-solving and reaching sound, well-thought out conclusions.
Critical thought incorporates the process of looking at an issue objectively and factually before arriving at an opinion or solution. Today’s culture tends to assess quickly without really knowing the facts.
Those who follow Christ are called to be insightful. In fact, a lack of insightfulness limits our level of love towards God and others. Love, in some way, is hindered by a lack of insightfulness. Who talks about this or preaches on such a conclusion?
If we do not think critically over a matter or situation, then we lack knowledge. We tend to fear what we do not understand. Fear is the opposite of love, therefore, our inability to really know another person’s situation keeps us from knowing and loving them.
Here is just one of many examples: Millions of refugees are being scattered all over the globe as we speak. This diaspora of people is likely the greatest movement of people out of closed cultures where the gospel is prohibited, into open cultures where the gospel can be freely shared. This sounds like a good thing. Within this movement of millions there are likely those who want to reap violence and cause death. This is a valid concern.
Let’s employ a little critical thought…We must protect ourselves from terrorists but at the same time be aware of the fact that the refugees, that many are afraid of, are innocent and skilled architects, obstetricians, professors, and executives that have been stripped of their credentials and can no longer use their expertise. We remain afraid of them when we fail to apply critical thought. The believer today, or in any era, must be a thinker.
We fear what we do not know yet we are called to love. Perfect love casts out fear. We must think more and love more. The apostle Paul put it this way as he was carried along by the Holy Spirit…
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ… (Phil 1:9-10).
Before you pass judgment on another, ask questions, try to understand more. The next time you listen to a newscast or read an editorial, think first, and respond second. The next time you hear a sermon, think about it. Whoever you are afraid to confront, get some more info as to why they say and do what they say and do. Think your way into loving others more. Sometimes we will learn even more negative things about a person. Isn’t that just more reason to extend grace and love them? Let’s be more insightful and even less divisive. Let’s learn more and love more. Let us not immediately “lap up” everything we see, read, and hear as truth without first being insightful. The world needs believers who think and thinkers who believe. Don’t just think about love, think your way into love. Just a little insight.
-Dr. Gary Hewins,
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