Jesus Won’t Leave You in Wrong-Thinking

Sometimes I just worry that I’m not thinking rightly.  I’m certainly aware of a lot of wrong-thinking I have justified in my brain: blaming others for my decisions; laying down my God-given authority; judging, comparing myself to and competing with others; treasuring temporal trinkets; floundering in self-pity; missing the most important ones in front of me for the sake of something selfish.  The list goes on.  Am I alone in this?  Is there anybody else out there who could make such a list?

When I became aware of being deceived by such wrong-thinking, I went through a multi-year season where I begged the Lord to give me right-thinking.  I carried an immense amount of concern that I would find myself in wrong-thinking without even knowing it.

I still ask him for this regularly, but with more confidence than fear nowadays.  So many Bible Stories show me that if I’m simply a friend and follower of Jesus, he’s faithful to lead me to right-thinking.  I really don’t have to worry about wallowing in a pit of wrong-thinking for too long IF I’m following him!

The story that brought freedom from my worry is found in Mark 9:33-36 and Luke 9:46 – 48.

Luke tells it like this (9:46), “An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts,” told them what it really meant to be great.

Mark gives a little more insight (9:33),  “When he was in the house, he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.  Sitting down, Jesus called” them to him and told them what it really meant to be first.

I can imagine the scene.  Jesus is walking ahead and his disciples are trailing behind.  An argument heats up among them. With passion, they fight to be right and to be the best.  Their minds have fallen into a pit of deception and wrong-thinking and they don’t even have the guts to admit it.  Maybe they weren’t even aware in the midst of their argument.  But still, in this place of stupidity, they ARE following the teacher.  Jesus was close.   He was listening, aware of the workings in their brains. He saw where their thoughts were amiss and like a good teacher, he corrected their wrong-thinking and spoke rightness into their minds.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter cut off a man’s ear with his sword!  I totally get Peter as I’m prone to walk in such crazed passion of fight, not knowing the big picture of what God is accomplishing.  Jesus wouldn’t allow Peter to walk in such crazy though.  In John 18:10, Jesus commanded Peter to get his thinking straightened out, “Put your sword away Peter!”  Peter hadn’t even looked to Jesus for specific instruction, yet he received it because he was close to Jesus.

I even think of Saul, later named Paul.  He was a young man when he began persecuting the church (Acts 7:58).  Saul had a genuine, zealous love for God and had tried to follow him rightly his whole life (Philippians 3:4).  I doubt he ever questioned the paradigm he lived in.   He never knew how fervently he fell into wrong-thinking, so deceived that he even approved of murder (Acts 8:1).  But God, in his great love, spoke direction into Saul’s mindset on the road to Damascus and then miraculously removed the deceptive scales from his eyes (Acts 9).

Jesus is faithful to set us straight even when we’re too proud to admit or too blind to know we’re crooked.  If we are following him, we can trust he is faithful to keep his eye on us and to correct us in the places where we are missing it.  We don’t have to worry.  He won’t leave us in wrong-thinking.

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Lord, help me to walk close to you that I might hear your voice of correction!  I know I’m bound to walk in wrong-thinking here and there, but I trust that you are a good teacher and friend to correct me and bring me to right-thinking!  “Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!  And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! (ESV, Psalm 139:23 – 24).


Featured image is a photo by Christopher Harris on Unsplash.

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