Devotional for Thursday June 25th

Good Morning Everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Think for yourself”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “The one who gives an answer before he listens – this is foolishness and disgrace for him.” Proverbs 18:13 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Don’t surrender your critical thinking skills.”
 
One of the things that happens to individuals who allow themselves to be drawn into a cult of personality is that they give-up critical thinking. Critical thinking involves considering and analyzing facts before forming a judgment. It comes from the understanding that situations are usually complex and nuanced, and therefore in order to gain an accurate understanding of what a situation or position is, we have to listen carefully and then engage in rational unbiased analysis of factual evidence before we conclude that we know enough to arrive at a reasonable and informed conclusion about the issue.
 
But people in a cult of personality don’t do that. Instead, they are so enamored with the leader that they simply accept as truth whatever the leader and his or her closest aides say the truth of a matter is. Beyond that, if the official position of the leader is challenged by skeptics or critics, the cult follower responds emotionally and often with anger. Rather than giving serious consideration to an opposing point of view (critical thinking), the follower has already predetermined that whatever the policy and position of the dear leader is, that must be the truth of the situation and therefore they don’t need to know anything more about it.
 
As was noted yesterday, this is dangerous. A cult of personality tends to bring out and enable the worst aspects of a leader’s personality. The kind of leader that is most likely to allow and encourage a cult of personality to form around them usually has a serious ego problem to begin with. Now to be fair, not all the followers of a particular politician or religious leader are guilty of drinking the Kool-Aid. They don’t all have a cult of personality mindset. Probably even most of them don’t. But many do, and they usually constitute the base of the leader’s support.
 
In Proverbs 18:13 Solomon was calling for critical thinking. His point was that as mature intelligent individuals with well-developed critical thinking skills, we should carefully consider the various positions and perspectives associated with any situation, and then slowly and thoughtfully form our own opinion about it, rather than immediately assuming we already know everything we need to know about the issue.
 
I encourage you to avoid the cult of personality mindset. Don’t surrender your critical thinking skills.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim    
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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