The Danger of Pretending to Think

This week Carson posted on faux thinking and this portion struck me:

Faux thinking is when self-evident realities, half-truths, or even mindless drivel is passed off as genuine thoughtfulness if not borderline brilliance.33.As my wife suggested, it usually results from a kind of long-term cognitive atrophy. This train of thought immediately leads to a big problem, though. Don Marquis perhaps summarized it best when he observed, “If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; But if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.”


I’m giving thanks today for the people in my life who have really made me think…yeah, to the point of discomfort and change. I think of my husband, my dad, professors, pastors, mentors, friends…even my boys as they grow older hold me to the fire with truth. They challenge my thoughts to go deeper and I am better for it.

It’s easy to pretend you are or have done the hard work of thinking. Rarely do we engage in conversations that press out the evidence of congruence and logic. (Mostly I think this is because our insecurities make us defensive rather than engaged in helpful push back.) It takes mental muscles to connect the dots and test the genuineness of their gold when we learn from others. If you don’t though, you may end up with nice sounding platitudes and nothing more than a fool’s fancy, worth nothing.

This means we need to learn to listen carefully. Ask challenging integrity questions of what we’ve heard. Test everything, as the Apostle Paul puts it. Don’t let your thinking atrophy. I find the longer I walk with Christ, the more he challenges my thinking. It doesn’t get easier, only more beautiful. Let’s be people who throw off lazy thinking and press into the deep, wide, high and low of all that God has prepared for us. Let’s be filled with the Spirit and allow him to reveal spiritual truths that the foolish cannot comprehend (I Cor. 2:6-16).

Really thinking is hard work, but the rewards are worth it. I commend it to you.

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