Devotional for Friday June 26th

Good Morning Everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Think for yourself”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elements of the world, rather than Christ.” Colossians 2:8 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Check it out for yourself”
 
In a cult of personality, the followers tend to feed off of everyone else’s fear and emotions. If everyone else in the group is expressing anger, then this person expresses anger too. The person may not even fully understand what the anger is all about. All they know is that everyone else in the group is angry about this, that, or some other thing, and therefore they conclude that they should be angry too. If others are engaged in heated and frenzied rhetoric about the issue, then this person shouts with them. And again, often without even fully understanding why.
 
The group dynamic of a cult of personality is such that everyone’s thinking and emotions are keyed to everyone else’s thinking and emotions. Sometimes this is referred to as a mob mentality. In the corporate world it’s called “group-think”. Several persuasive people promote an idea to the group and they slowly persuade others to believe it too. Then, as more and more people join in that thinking, the sheer numbers of people in agreement becomes convincing. The holdouts then begin thinking, “Well, everyone else in the group thinks this way, therefore it must be right and I guess I should think that way too.” And soon everyone is in agreement, even if the initial premise is completely wrong.
 
A cult of personality, by definition, revolves around the influence of a charismatic leader. However, the “group-think” or “mob mentality” characteristic that is found in cults of personality also infects other group situations, even if the group doesn’t revolve around a single charismatic leader. It’s simply human nature to be influenced by the thinking and feelings of the people around you. This can be either good or bad – but often it is bad. That’s why independent critical thinking is so important.
 
I encourage you to check things out for yourself before you come to conclusions, form judgments, and take actions. Don’t allow yourself to be triggered by the fear and emotions of those around you. Thoughtfully consider what the actual facts of the situation are and then come to your own conclusions based on good judgment and sound reasoning. In other words, think for yourself.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim 
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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