More and more each day society is grabbed by the grip of an unseen hand. Decisions are no longer ours to be made, not because they have been taken away, but because we have graciously given them away, handed them over to the powers that be, simply because we are tired of thinking. We have become lazy when it comes to making the hard choices in life. We have become consumers of popular opinion and belief. We have become what the world wants us to be.
Ever so slowly we have given up our minds. Tired of the reverberating thoughts and questions that fight for our attention, we have pacified ourselves with the first available answer from the airwaves. We have consumed, time and time again, a quick meal of opinion dished out on our favorite afternoon radio talk show, or on the nightly news just before we tuck ourselves into bed. These views range over a variety of topics, from the latest lawsuit to the current political climate and other issues of the day. The left- and right-wingers all argue their points and spin their web of opinion, enticing us ever closer until we find ourselves wrapped up in it. We have swallowed these opinions and quickly adapted them as our own without further investigation.
It’s just easier this way. We aren’t burdened with the energy or time necessary to create our own conclusions, based on our own beliefs. Let’s be honest. Putting in the effort to contemplate things is tough. The deeper we get, the more questions seem to arise, deeper and harder questions. It doesn’t appear to matter what the subject is; the questions just get tougher. So we have turned to the quick newsbyte for the night, where our favorite celebrities dish out their tailored plate of opinion. We may change a few words around here and there, but is it really ours? I liken it to getting a Happy Meal and taking the pickles off my hamburger so it’s edible to me. It’s still not mine. It’s still a Happy Meal. I didn’t toil over this and come to the conclusion based on my beliefs and understanding of all that is true. I merely bought into it and modified, slightly, the final product.
In our world today, we are surrounded by many opinions, “truths” and beliefs. We have the economy and its current state of downfall. We have the current conflicts and tensions in the Mid-east, along with the overhanging shadow of N. Korea. Of course there is always abortion, for and against. What about faith and religion? There are many supposed paths to enlightenment. But how many people can defend where they stand? How many are willing or able to?
There are literally thousands upon thousands of opinions for any given subject. It’s all too easy in today’s society to leave our brain off and just accept the most popular belief. It keeps us safe. Out of the spotlight. We can blend in with everyone else and not be noticed. But is this who we are to be? Not in this world.
We are to stand apart from the masses and stand for truth. We’re told in Romans not to copy to the world’s patterns, but let God transform the way we think. We must be wise stewards of our minds and all that comes from them. We must be diligent when it comes to finding the answers and not lazily choosing the first one that sounds like it may be right.
No one knows you like you know you. Think about that for a minute. You are an expert on you. Why would we allow another to shape our opinions for us? We have, set before us, all that is required to make the choices so that we may survive in this harsh land we all share. Every experience we have had has brought us to this point in our lives. Circumstances have continually been used to shape and mold us into who we are today. Everything has happened because God has allowed it. We have all these experiences to rely on now, including God Himself. Our journey is not yet complete, and we must guard our minds. We must use them wisely and stand for what is right even if it is difficult and against the main flow of society.
The right things in life are often the most difficult. I have learned this through time and still struggle with it weekly, if not daily. But we must choose today how we will live our lives (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). Use your judgment to discern the right path to travel, and then run that way—don’t walk. There is no time to be passive about eternal implications. God is watching, waiting to cheer you on and always able and willing to help or lend you a hand. Run with passion and desire for a life that is sure to be filled with adventure and joy.
As we begin to exercise our minds again and revive them from sleep, we will recognize how many others around us are still in darkness, sleeping. We will see those who are still lost. Our hearts will ache, and we will be led to bring light to the darkness around us. Many have no idea the beauty that awaits them in the light. They have never experienced it, so how could they even begin to imagine the wonder that surrounds them? We can take back the world with our minds if we would just use them for God. Let’s use our hearts and minds as one and filter the facts through our beliefs, experiences and God.
Clarity comes with concentration and investigation. Concentrate on something long enough, spend time dwelling on a concept, give some time to an issue and look into it, and the right thing to do or say will become clearer. “Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise,” Paul says in Philippians. The truth will set you free and those around you as well.
It may take time, but don’t shortchange yourself by jumping to quick and easy solutions and quick fixes. They don’t last, but well-thought-out and prayed-over decisions have a timeless quality to them. They are effective and lasting.
Activate your mind. Unplug yourself from the opinions of society. Return to real existence and contemplate the deeper issues. Don’t be afraid of losing yourself in the questions; be excited about finding yourself in them. Discover your opinions and thoughts, your feelings and emotions. Discover truth and freedom within discovery itself. In the end when all is said and done, the truth will set you free.
[Eric Henley is a 26-year-old freelance writer/speaker known for his passionate papers and speeches. He is always looking for ways to reach the lost and communicate God’s deep love and desire in a real way. Currently engaged, he tries to survive the Phoenix sun daily while serving where he can.]
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