I lean toward gullibility, so my counselor husband is often saying to me, There could be two sides to that story, honey.
And I say, What? Two sides? Oh yes. That changes things a bit. Come to find out, there are two views on every issue.
Well, I was making the seven-hour drive from Lander, Wyoming to Bozeman, Montana yesterday, and I was about five hours into a nine-hour audio book by John Piper, entitled Brothers, We Are Not Professionals. He was reminding ministers not to forget how close they came to hell, before Jesus swept in to rescue them.
Piper said, in remembering his life before he was saved, “My views were the views of hell.”
That’s when my tires hit the rumble strips.
I thought of my gullibility –that tendency to see only one side of things –and it made me wonder how much of my thinking has remained on the hell side, even after 37 years of walking with Christ?
Selfishness, laziness, self-pity, pride, greed, jealousy, fear, resentment, ingratitude…
When I left my mom yesterday morning, she told me not to cry. It’s dangerous to cry while you’re driving. But I cried right there on the Wyoming highway. Cried for all the thoughts and decisions I’ve made that have been influenced by the prince of darkness. Cried, I’m sorry, Lord. Cried because more than anything I want the kingdom of heaven view to color my thinking.
Then my road-trip repentance turned into this melting joy, as I realized how kind it was of God to bring this audio book into my life, to remind me of His grace that spared me hell, and to prod me toward adopting kingdom-of-heaven views.
Paul says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” (Romans 12:2 NIV)
It helps to have a brutal contrast in describing how I think.
For example, a thought pops up (frustration at the slow Canadian driver I just followed for 15 minutes), and I make an evaluation: Is the thought I’m having (Get out of the way, Saskatchewan!) of God’s view or hell’s view? The answer to that question shuts off my inward rant immediately.
Try labeling your thoughts one way or the other all day today –see if it doesn’t force some transformation.