Rearranging Prejudices

I came across this quote recently, and it certainly triggered some thoughts:

A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices. (William James)

Dwell on that for a moment.

A great many people think they are thinking…

…when they are really rearranging their prejudices.

Mr. James was onto something that Christians should spend some serious time pondering.

Are we thinking and learning? Or are we caught up in what WE want to believe so much that our minds never really change?

Do we just look for evidence to support what we want to believe, or are we willing to change our ways of thinking when confronted with things that SHOULD cause us to be transformed?

Scripture along these lines comes to mind:

Romans 12:2, ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Christians that truly believe God’s word are instructed to be transformed by the renewal of our mind. To test and discern God’s will. To hold onto His truths, and be different from the world.

Which begs the question.

Am I? Are you?

How do we use Scripture?

In context with what it truly says, or to support something we want to believe as true regardless of what clear reading of Scripture shows?

Let’s think about this for a moment.

Suppose we’ve been wronged… deeply. Imagine a deep hurt that someone could cause you.

Seriously. Put yourself in that situation. It’s probably happened already at some point (we’ve all been there), so use reality as a basis if it helps.

What’s your reaction? How does your heart and mind lead you to respond?

Here’s what Scripture says about handling sins against us:

Matthew 18:15-17, ESV
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

In our hypothetical situation (or maybe your very real one), you’ve been hurt or wronged deeply.

Does your heart lead you to desire to make peace with the one who’s harmed you? Or would you rather avoid them? Tell your real friends how much they’ve hurt you? Address the situation passive-aggressively through Facebook? Wait for them to realize how much they’ve messed up and come to you?

Scripture tells us that our minds should be transformed. That we should be different from the world.

Is your reaction to deep hurts and pains transformed because of your relationship with Christ?

Are you willing to go to someone who has hurt you, personally and directly, and patiently try to work through the hurts to restore a relationship pleasing to God?

Or do you read this verse that it’s your job to just tell the one who has hurt you how they’ve sinned against you, how badly they’ve hurt you, and that they need to repent? And that no matter how you handle that conversation, if they don’t apologize on the spot and bow to your wishes in fixing the issue, that you’re free to share your conflict with others? And that if nothing happens to right the wrong to your satisfaction after you’ve told your friends, that you’re then free to share how you’ve been wronged with the church (and anyone else who will listen)? That once you’ve made sure they’ve been told repeatedly how wrong they were to hurt you, that you’re then free to treat them with contempt and throw away any relationship you may have once had?

Two different attitudes. Same Scripture.

Which shows a rearranging of prejudices, and which true transformation by the renewal of our minds?

Which stems from the heart attitudes Jesus refers to as “blessed”?

Matthew 5:3-12
3Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

If we’re not willing to be transformed at a heart level through our relationship with Christ, what are we doing?

Probably just rearranging prejudices.

And in the process, damaging God’s Kingdom by staining Christ’s name.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a charge I don’t want levied against me.

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John Written by:

Husband, Daddy, Christ-follower, sports fan... pressing on toward the goal for which God has called me heavenward in Christ. #ForeverRoyal!

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