There seems to be a tendency currently in our society to avoid thinking. How often have you heard someone begin a sentence with “I feel” when they should have been using “I think.” For example when asked what the weather would be like one has responded “I feel like it will be a nice sunny day since there are no clouds in the sky.” Or when asked for what a person’s plans for the day are, “I feel like I should go get groceries because we need milk.” I have teasingly asked exactly how does something like that feel.
I know that for most people it’s just a habit that they have unwittingly fallen into and they really do mean that they are thinking. But as the shift in meaning has slipped into our language I think it indicates a move in our culture that emphasizes feelings over thinking and that is a dangerous thing.
I saw an interview of a number of students on the University of Washington campus where the interviewer asked how the student would respond if the white, 5’ 8”, male interviewer stated that he were a woman. Most of the students began their response with “I feel . . .” and all of them went on to accept that what the interviewer felt about himself was indeed fact.
He then posed to them that he was actually a Chinese woman. This forced the students to work through their “feelings” a little more but they all were able to come to accept it as fact. He finally told them he was also 6’ 5”. This was finally too much for all but one of the students to believe.
When we order our lives by how we feel instead of by thinking through what is true the inevitable, and, dare I say, logical outcome is that we will believe even that which is obviously false.
Philippians 4:8 says, amongst other things, that whatever is true think about such things. According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon that word translated as think means to consider, take account, weigh, meditate. In other words it is a rational exercise of the mind.
I may feel a certain way about something, but as I think, that is as I consider, take account, weigh, and meditate about what is true my feelings will follow and come in line also with what is true.
Isaiah spoke of a time when “truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.” (59:14-15) I think we are seeing that time.
How can you know what is true and what to think on? You need to search for it. I would suggest you start your search in the Bible. John 1:17 says that truth came through Jesus Christ. And Jesus himself declared that God’s word is truth. (John 17:17)
And that’s what I think.