Poisoned Minds

Day 186

Prayer for the day

Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me; O LORD make haste to help me.

Scripture for the day

Job 32-33, Acts 14

Isn’t it interesting how easy it is for us to fixate? So many of us latch on to theological theories or cultic practices that define who we are that we are unable to move outside of them or even to see the value or benefit of another system of thought. This is not an appeal to an unthinking pluralism, but a simple observation that the vast majority of us have a terrible time moving outside of ourselves to see beauty and value in other ways of doing things.

Most of us are resistant to change, particularly theological change, and that’s great if we’re concerned with safeguarding theological priorities that are appropriate. It becomes troublesome when we fail to identify primary and secondary premises in their proper place.

This theological narrowness is clear both in Job and in the book of Acts. In Job, his friends are those who are so married to a theological system, to a way of viewing God, that they cannot accept the truth that is placed in front of them. In a way, their minds are poisoned against Job by their previous commitment, and they are unable to move beyond their conceptions of how God acts or does not act. They continue to question (and in some ways, rightly) Job’s motivation and (wrongly) his integrity.

The folks surrounding Paul and Barnabas are also stuck in their ways and refuse to see the truth when it is offered to them. They have their minds poisoned against the message of Jesus that Paul and Barnabas bring, and eventually try to kill them (they even think they succeed with Paul!), though they eventually escape.

The poisoning of the mind is easy. It’s easy for us to be turned against the truth if we’re unwilling to have the light invade our vision. May we be wise and open, willing to see the truth of God even in situations that challenge our preconceptions.

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