Friday, 27 August 2010

living into thinking vs thinking into living

Today, I read the following quote on a blog post, and copied it to my facebook status:

 “You don’t think your way into a new kind of living. You live your way into a new kind of thinking."

Then, along with a couple almost-instantaneous "likes,"  a good friend posted this observation:

I dunno if I agree with that! I have always found I have to really believe something before I can truly live it... and the believing comes in the form of a new understanding. Someone told me you dont behave your way into good thinking, you believe your way into new behaviors. At least that is how it is working with me. 
And I had to stop for a moment and think about that.  Because sometimes I tend to read a quote, and think, "Oh yeah, that's right on!" and then quote it to others, without really thinking it through.  So when I read C's comment, I had to stop and work that out.  Which isn't always a normal kind of thing to do on facebook, where most thoughts tend to come in "sound-bites" (of varying quality...).

Anyway, I did an abnormal facebook thing, and actually thought something through in a response comment.  Here's what I wrote.

Actually, I'd agree with you Cassie... because when I hear "think your way into a new kind of living" to me that's the whole "behavior" thing: like, if I make up a list of "good person" qualities, and everyday I look in the mirror and say.../affirm to myself, "Today I am going to become a better person by doing a random act of kindness/ never swear/ read my Bible/ whatever..." to me that is ME trying to think MY way into a new kind of living, and for the most part it's an outside behavioral change but not an essential change for me.

BUT if I encounter a truly new understanding that I experience, ("know", in the deeper meaning of that word), as true reality (and in my experience that would include bumping into the astonishing reality that God really does love me, and wants a relationship with me, which He has made possible through Jesus) - and thus I really do believe it, more than just as an idea to enjoy "thinking about" ... then that becomes a starting point from which my living changes, from which I have been changed inwardly, and because of that not only does my outward behavior begin to change in line with that inward change, but my whole "thinking" is changed, I have a whole new view of reality, of the world, of my relationship with God, and my relationship with people around me... So in my living ("living loved" in this case) my whole way of thinking is informed and changed.

So yes, I would agree that to truly live something, there has to be that initial experience of belief and understanding. And that changes my thinking (from the inside out), and that informs my outward behaviors. (And it keeps growing and developing, its a way of living and thinking that comprehensively affects every aspect of my life... behaviors, thoughts, actions and reactions... and, big-time, relationships - with my Creator and with every other human being (and ultimately with all aspects of creation, because of those changed relationships)
Hmmm.... well that's a clear as mud!  Which just goes to show that I need to think before I talk.

What do YOU think? Or live? Or both?

(And just out of curiosity... do you think our facebook-twitter-texting-soundbite-lives can sometimes have rather dangerous consequences to our thinking... and living...?)

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