What do you do when you come up against something that goes against your way of thinking? I have seen people respond in one of four ways:
- To ignore it.
- To deny it.
- To discredit it.
- To wrestle with it.
Which one describes you? What have you done the last several times this happened?
My experience is that most of the time, we don’t take the fourth option. The core issues here are whether or not we are open-minded AND have a receptive heart.
Most everyone knows about being open-minded. Not many of us like to be thought of as a close–minded person.
Here’s a test. If someone makes an assertion and then presents a significant body of evidence with a strong logical argument, how open are you to changing your opinion? For example, let’s say you lived during the early 16thcentury, and you heard Nicolaus Copernicus describe his observations and reasoning for proposing that the planets orbit around the Sun and not the Earth. How readily would you have accepted his new ideas? Apparently, back then, it didn’t go so well, for only a dozen or so scientists changed their minds.
As hard as it is to let go of a pet idea or way of thinking, it’s even more difficult when it comes to changing our hearts. In fact, I suspect that the real reason we resist different things is not so much a matter of our intellect or reasoning, but because of the disposition of our heart. Will changing our thinking also injure our pride because we must admit we were wrong, make us angry because we’ll have to change what we’re doing, or cause us embarrassment because others around us will now ridicule or attack us?
God challenges us today in the same way he inspired the psalmist in Psalm 95:
O that today you would hear his voice! Harden not your hearts…
Psalm 95: 7b-8 RSVCE
Lord, you know how highly I think of myself and consider myself to be open-minded and unbiased. Perhaps I really am able to look at things objectively, but I know for sure that at times my heart has been hardened. Come, Holy Spirit, and give me eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart of flesh instead of one of stone. Amen.