Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Have you ever ended a conversation feeling confused and resentful? Or wishing you had spoken up or expressed yourself better. Maybe you unloaded on someone else and have regrets about that. Maybe someone embarrassed you or said hurtful things to you. Often after uncomfortable encounters our thoughts try to get the best of us. We begin to make assumptions, re-live the conversation, and dwell on the unpleasantness of the whole situation. Our follow-up runaway thoughts can have a strong hold on us. We then plot about how to handle the next encounter with the other person and all the loaded words we will use. Instead of ruminating, making false assumptions, and experiencing runaway thoughts, we should use logic and seek God’s direction. 

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. Haggai 1:7

Logizomai is a Greek verb that means to “think about.” It means to count, compute, think deliberately, draw a logical conclusion, and then make a decision. This kind of thinking removes emotion from the process and focuses on facts – truth. The word I kept coming across in definitions of logizomai was “reckon.” Now we all know that “reckon” is a Southern slang word. “I reckon it’s time to go to the weddin’.” What we really mean is, “Based on my logical understanding, it’s time to go to the wedding.” 

The Apostle Paul used logic in defending the Gospel. Out of 49 times the word logizomai was used in the New Testament, Paul used it 42 times. He respected logical thought and encourages us to weigh our decisions with fact and logic and to seek our wisdom from God. How can we use logic to hold our runaway thoughts, assumptions, and misperceptions in check? One way is to focus on the facts of the conversation. What comments were made on fact and what were made on opinion? 

My son recently purchased a house. He used a very thorough process to have the house inspected and all issues the inspector found were corrected by the seller. Based on the professional expertise of the inspector as well as the input from numerous other friends experienced in construction, he was confident that he was getting a good quality home. Shortly before he closed the deal, a “well-meaning” friend urged my son to abandon the deal because he thought the roof was in terrible shape and would soon cost him thousands of dollars to replace. This person’s sense of urgency and persuasion caused my son to begin to doubt his decision. My son began to “waffle,” started asking others for opinions, and began to second guess his choice of homes. He agonized over his decision and asked me for help sorting through the dilemma. I encouraged him to “reckon.” We evaluated the expertise, experience, and professionalism of the inspector. We weighed that against the motives, experience, and opinion of the well-meaning friend. We prayed for God’s guidance and discernment. He came to the conclusion that fact outweighed opinion and that God had given him peace. He continued with the contract confident in his decision. 

Sometimes others mess with our minds because they sound convincing. They attempt to make us doubt ourselves and our abilities to use logic, reason, and God’s direction. It’s a good idea to reckon our decisions and seek God’s wisdom.


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