Thursday, November 11, 2010

The BEST idea

No one likes to be told they're are doing something wrong - especially me. When we act upon a choice, we do so because either we think it is the right thing to do, or we have justified it to ourselves in our own mind that there is nothing wrong with what we are doing. But sometimes, even with the best intentions, we arrive at wrong conclusions when we take into consideration the "facts" of the issue.

It seems to me that based on our predisposed opinions, agenda, and point of view, we perceive reality the way we want to see it. Now there's nothing wrong with having an opinion or belief about something - that's what makes us unique; it's a part of our individuality.  But the goal is to see through a clear, objective lens, not a distorted subjective one.

Often I'll be faced with a problem and have to come up with a solution. If I'm able to come up with an idea that solves the problem, it automatically becomes the BEST idea amongst all others, because it was my idea. It doesn't matter that someone else's idea is objectively better, one that clearly addresses the problem and meets all the required criteria. If it didn't come from between my two ears, or pass my subjective approval, it is not the best idea.

My pastor preached a message this last weekend on "self deception" as a part of a series called "Masquerade" (if you haven't seen it yet, you should definitely do so; follow the link One of the most challenging points to me was when he said that, "Often the more convinced you are you're right, the more likely you are wrong." At first i didn't like this statement. It's clearly not a black-and-white statement that is correct 100% of the time, but it does provide just reason to pause and consider: am I right because of the intensity of my conviction, or am I right because the collaborative evidence objectively supports my belief? What I found in introspection of myself is that I often conclude that I am right because of my own predisposed bias towards my own ideas that are always right - this is bias of mine was distorting my lens.

"You cannot hate the sin you don't detect; you cannot overcome sin that you cannot identify." Craig Groeschel

Now that I have identified this source of self deception, I can now do something about it. Awareness is half the battle. What about you?  Here's a few points that Craig made in his message, to help us uncover our distorted view of ourselves:

1. Pray. "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:23-24
2. Listen. "He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise. He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding." Proverbs 15:31-32
3. Change. "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." James 1:22
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:3

Don't brush this off. Pray. Listen. Change. 

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