By John Thurman
I shot this image a little over a year ago at a Living Free Service at Sagebrush Community Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Pastor Rick Bosh had just finished a message and he invited all of those who were attending to some write down some places where they were stuck? It was a powerful time, there was silence in a room for around 800 people with only the occasion sniffle of sadness or joy or the sharp and loud slaps of a man hug.
Do you ever feel stuck? Do some of your old thinking styles trip your up? Reviving your mind is tough work, but it leads to great rewards.
As we look at these styles, let’s review where some of our struggles originate.
What we believe is partially determined by the programming we absorb from our early childhood to the present. Our parents, siblings, peers, teachers, faith group, significant others, books, TV, and so on, all contribute to our perceptions about the world and ourselves. As mentioned in the introduction, there are two basic mindsets people deal with the “fixed mindset” and the “growth mindset.”
If a person is in a fixed mindset and something bad or negative occurs, the following things happen. He or she tends to think:
· It is personal (it is all my fault)
· It is permanent (it cannot be changed)
· It is pervasive (it will affect everything)
In Genesis chapters 11-25, one of the best-known couples in the Bible, Abraham and Sarah, serve as reminders of what happens when we presume to know God’s plans, and the plans of others. This couple often strayed from God’s will. Early on they gave into fear, dishonesty, and manipulation as they dealt with others. At times, they wrongly presumed to know God’s mind and plans before He had revealed them and then foolishly attempted to assist Him.
The good news is, over time Abraham, and Sarah got the lesson. They learned that a fresh start is always possible. They also learned that the fulfillment of God’s promises does not depend upon our performance, but rather on His grace. Finally, they learned it is dangerous to try to read God’s mind and to move ahead without first seeking His direction.
This mind-reading trap assumes that you know what the other person is thinking or expecting, or that you expect another person to understand fully what you are thinking.
Mind reading often happens when we know or think we know the other persons well. After forty years of being married to my wife, she is learned she cannot always read my mind.
The way to avoid the trap of assuming you know what another person is thinking is to ask questions. Getting answers is the easiest way to see if what you are thinking matches what the other person is thinking. It takes courage, but it can work.
Here are a few questions to ask:
· Did I express myself?
· Did I ask for information and clarification?
· Am I sure the other person is not holding anything back in fear of my reaction?
Feel free to leave a comment.
(c) 2014 John Thurman