We are bombarded with information and advertisements every day. Marketers know that we see what we want to. Most web developers have discovered over the years that banner ads are becoming irrelevant because they are seen by individuals as part of the background unless it is something someone is actually looking for. Think about it this way, do you see the gas station or fast food signs when you drive down a busy street, or do you ignore them unless you are hungry or in need of gas?
What News Do You Watch?
Tell me what news you watch and I bet I can tell you what you believe about the coronavirus, the LGBTQ community, and abortion. We see what we want to. We want to feel like our world is safe so we associate with and act like people who believe exactly what we do.
We See and Hear Exactly What We Want To
If you believe your boss is a jerk you will see everything he or she does as a behavior leading you to know for sure that you are right. What you believe about a stereotype of another race is what you see or hear. That will steer you toward the deepening of that belief. When you believe all poor people are lazy that is what you will focus on. Because we see what we want to, what we need to see is that we are called not to have these general beliefs about anyone.
We are called to love not our friends but also our enemies.
1 Corinthians 13 says: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Letting God free us from wrong thinking isn’t easy. But, wrong thinking will drive a wedge between us and God. As a nation, we have become so caught up in the political name-calling and we have carried it into our Christian churches. We see what we want to and I am no exception. I fall every day. When I do, I damage the body of Christ as a whole, not just my witness. What I need to understand is that no one is perfect and we all sin, but we are also all made in God’s image.
I wrote the outline of this post 13 years ago and it is true today more than ever. We have been called to a higher standard and maybe we have lost sight of that. If we let Christ change the way we think He will change the way we see things. Paul tells us this in Romans 12:2
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.