Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Getting Closer to God by Defying Conventional Thinking

Several years ago, I watched a movie called Something the Lord Made. The movie chronicled the journey of a pair of men as they researched the possibility of doing heart surgery and eventually became the first people to complete the procedure successfully. One of the reasons their work was so groundbreaking was that the accepted thinking of the day said that the heart couldn't be touched. No one believed that surgery could be performed on the heart without the death of the patient. But these two men, together, decided to challenge the accepted thinking of the day and look past it toward reality. Only then were they able to accomplish the impossible.

Job was also a man who was willing to challenge the accepted wisdom of the day. The wise men of the day believed that people who lived righteous lives were always blessed while those who lived sinful lives always received God's wrath. When Job received the "wrath" of God, he began to re-examine the thinking of the day. Knowing that he was on the receiving end of some pretty heavy wrath when he had done nothing wrong, Job began reexamining those accepted notions: In Job 21:17-18, Job said,“Yet the light of the wicked never seems to be extinguished. Do they ever have trouble? Does God distribute sorrows to them in anger? Are they driven before the wind like straw? Are they carried away by the storm like chaff? Not at all!" (NLT). Because Job was willing to challenge the accepted thinking of the day, Job was able to see things more clearly than his friends. Job faced some hard truths and then came out stronger in the long-run for it.

Far too often we simply accept what the people around us say is the truth without ever really examining it for ourselves. We accept what our parents say, what our teachers tell us, what our consensus of friends says to us. But man's wisdom is not the same thing as God's wisdom. What seems to make a lot of sense from a human perspective may be the attempts of our desperately feeble minds to make sense of something that we can't find reason for. That journey for meaning is a good one, but we have to remember that things will make a lot more sense if we look at reality and not just what other people say.

The accepted thinking of the day is often the rejected thinking of another generation. Whatever is accepted, examine it in the light of reality. We learn more when we challenge than when we simply accept.

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