Tag Archives: christian living

Subtle Thought Patterns that are Stumbling Blocks to God being Involved in Your Life

Sometimes in our everyday lives we can get so used to our every day habits, emotions, diets, etc. that we don’t really stop and question why and where they came from. Do our habits and thinking come from our own source of original thought, or are we influenced somehow to beleive “this is the right way to do it”? A common phrase is, “Well, that’s how I’ve always been taught.” Whether it be how we think, how we stay fit, what foods we eat, what emotions or words we express, or our expectations. Most often, though not with every single aspect, there is at least one area of our life that we do based on traditions – whether it be cultural tradition, societal tradition, or family tradition – that influences the way we do certain things. And so, whether we know it or not, sometimes the traditions may be more detrimental than helpful to us. Let’s explore a few common subtle traditions or thought patterns that are stumbling blocks to knowing the truth about God.

Subtle Stumbling Block #1 – Thinking we can save ourselves

Sometimes, especially for a non-believer, one might say – “Well, whenever I decide to, I can just pull myself up by my bootstraps.” in an effort to give oneself the credit of success and the flexibility and freedom to save one’s self. This is an old phrase basically meaning that one can succeed or elevate themselves without any outside help. The problem with that way of thinking is that it is limited. Yes, we may be able to help ourselves become better to a certain extent, but we cannot ultimately save ourselves from ourselves – we need an outside force. The same can be said about the physical realm, from something as simple as observing Newton’s first law of motion. “Newton’s first law states that if a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line, it will remain at rest or keep moving in a straight line at constant speed unless it is acted upon by a force. ” So why do we think that the spiritual realm is any different? The spiritual realm has many of the same laws as the physical realm, even if we do not realize it or cannot see it with our own eyes. So let’s stop falling for the cultural lie that we don’t need to be saved or don’t need God’s help because you’ve adopted the common thinking of “well, I’m a good person and that’s all that matters.” That itself is a societal thinking norm that is totally false. Even if you ask people in jail, many of them might even say the same thing. So needless to say, saying “I’m a good person,” is solely based on each person’s own thinking and not based on God’s thinking. For scriptures even say, “My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. ” So let’s make The Word of God and Jesus our point of reference for being saved and for our thoughts, instead of relying on our conscience which is unreliable according to scriptures. Even in the physical realm, ” In Aristotelian mechanics and in ordinary experience, objects that are not being pushed tend to come to rest.” Similarly in the spiritual realm, spirits that are not being pushed (by God) tend to come to rest (die). So let’s not follow the new age religion of self gratification and instead pull ourselves up to rely on Jesus to save us and help us. He is the best counselor for our success and saving.

Stumbling Block #2 – Misunderstanding the goodness of God

Many often question if God is real or if He is a good God because of all the evil things He “allows” to happen. Imagine if someone was watching a baby in a pool drowning and did not use their power to pick them up to save them from drowning. Of course, that is not good. In fact, I’m sure that kind of person would go to jail. Oftentimes, people think of God in a similar way – but it is a misconception. God is not involved in the evil of the world. That is Satan’s work – the prince of the air. So, we know that there is another entity in charge of worldly evil wrong-doing, yet somehow some people still blame God for the evil? The Misconception is that people forget that God is inside of us. He resides within human beings on earth and we must declare his power and presence in order for God to work in that situation. Thus, it is humans that are responsible for any evil that happens or does not happen. We live in a corrupt fallen world that is bound to have evil things happen. Our world is cursed by sin – what does one expect? God resides in heaven, and God also resides within people for helping us on earth. Thus, we cannot blame God for evil. For God is only in the goodness of the earth. He wants goodness, peace, healing and light more than we want it. “Now yes, yes creation sometimes screams a confusing message – fear, pain, grief,. Fire burns, rivers food, winds go hurricane, the earth shudders so hard it levels cities. But you must remember – this was not so in Eden. Mankind fell, surrendering this earth to the evil one. St Paul says that creation groans for the day of its restoration, making it clear that everything is not as it was meant to be. People come to terrible conclusions when they assume that this world is exactly as God intended. (An assumption that has wrought havoc in the sciences.) The earth is broken. Which only makes the beauty that does flow so generously that much more astounding. And reassuring. ”

Do you know any other important or noteworthy stumbling block thought patterns believers should avoid? Let us know in the comments below!

A Refresher on The Effects of Technology

What a wonderfully thought-provoking article, although I wish the title was more transparent because technology definitely affects more than just Christians in good and bad ways. It definitely enhanced my knowledge about how technology affects us. Technology can dramatically affect one’s faith or mental wellness—both positively and negatively. On the one hand, a few negative points the article stated that seemed noteworthy were that technology:

  • Changes how we think
  • Can become an idol in our lives
  • Can enable other idols, i.e. pride
  • Can be a distraction

I agree with all of these and I think all of them affect one’s faith. First, with the shows we watch on television or on Netflix, they can very easily manipulate our thought processes into a secular perspective so that everything seems okay (when it’s not ok, at least for the believer). Next, technology has definitely become the shiny idol of our generation—whether it’s being attached to our cellphone, which I am a victim to, or relying on a program on our computer to give us happiness—whether its Pinterest or winning a video game. This is also a slippery slope to enabling pride because of how technology, computers, phones, etc. have the ability to help people express their identity through social media platforms. Though these aren’t necessarily bad, they can be detrimental to our mental health and self esteem if overly used. Furthermore, this also leads to technology being a distraction. I think some of the main distractions for the 21st century dweller would most likely be their phone, tablet, computer, or television. However, on the other hand, is how helpful technology can be—from nifty bible apps, productivity apps, the convenience of texting, etc.

I think everyone knows the struggle of trying to resist the temptation to watch another episode of one’s favorite show or resisting to text back a best friend or a new love interest. Sometimes these distractions get out of hand and it seems like people cant resist because they rely on them to bring them happiness. We can avoid all the negative aspects of technology by simply taking a step back and asking ourselves if this technology or distraction is going to better ourselves or someone else and how so. Furthermore, I loved one of the questions in the article, which stated to ask the technology we are using, “What are you doing to my heart?”

Here, you can find my notes from the article because it is pretty lengthy. So feel free to either read it verbatim or just glance over some of the main points/ notes I got from it here:

  • Technology” is basically anything that is created by human beings to help us reach beyond what we would be able to do without it – whether that’s just doing an old thing more efficiently, or whether it’s doing something that was entirely impossible before. Technology is all around us, and it’s so deeply woven into the very fabric of our lives that we barely even notice it’s there. That’s precisely why it’s so important that we do take time out to consider it from a Christian perspective – because the technology we use always changes us.
  • The creation order is turned upside down, the things we created to help us master the creation now try to master us.
  • technology by itself is what we might call “amoral” – that is, it is neither overwhelmingly good nor inherently evil. Like lots of things in this world it’s something with great power for good but which is also deeply affected by the fall. What’s important is how we use that technology – what we use it to do, and what we allow it to do to us.
  • Technology is neither overwhelmingly good nor inherently evil – it’s how we USE it that counts.
  • technology can also very easily become an idol in our lives.
  • It can be that the technology is an idol in itself (the latest iDols from Apple, perhaps?) or they can enable other idols, such as my pride, as I project an image of living the most remarkable life imaginable on Facebook, or lust, in the form of Internet pornography and so on.
  • My goal here is to encourage us all just to be a little more thinking in our attitude to technology – not to reject it outright, nor to embrace it unquestioningly. Instead, to try to see beyond the superficial and to think a bit more about how it affects us, and why we feel about it the way we do.

Technology changes how we think

  • Because of the television, we’ve become a very visual culture
  • It’s really important to recognize that our technology has the power to radically alter how we perceive and think about the world around us.

Technology means we’ve redefined truth

Obviously there’s loads more we could say on that topic – plenty of further examples of ways in which our technology changes how we think. But in summary: be on your guard! Don’t engage with technology unthinkingly and expect to come away unchanged.

  • distraction. Our technology these days increasingly leads to distraction. If we allow it to, our technology can really begin to own us, with all of the beeps and buzzes and notifications that constantly vie for our attention and drag us away from the real interactions with the people right in front of us.
  • As a result of all this distraction, we’re less and less able to concentrate for long periods of time, we find ourselves less and less able to do something simple like just sitting and reading a book. It can even get to the point where we find ourselves feeling quite anxious and fidgety if we have to sit with our own thoughts and nothing to distract us. It can draw us away from the people we’re face-to-face with, and be a disaster for our working productivity.
  • I think if we’re going to be serious about putting God first in our lives, we have to be pretty radical with our technology.
  • It says a lot about my own priorities if I’m more excited to know if anybody around the world has sent me a nugget of novelty in my inbox, than I am to hear from the Creator of the Universe who has some eternal truth to share with me