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Sunday, August 24, 2014

What goes in must come out

Do you consider yourself sensible?  I wear sensible shoes most of the time - does this make me sensible?  If you think I am using my intelligence to make a decision on which shoe to wear for the day, you would then be right in calling me sensible.  Sensible people make rational decisions.  I have to do a great deal of walking and often standing in one place for a long period of time, so the shoes I wear do matter a great deal.  When I choose the shoe for the day, I think about the things I will be doing that day.  If the day is mostly made up of meetings, desk work, and the like, I am not as concerned with the shoe.  If they involve standing for long periods while accompanying a survey team around the building, I need not only sensible shoes, but light-weight ones!  I gave up high heels a long time ago as they just don't "fit" with my work routine anymore.  We reveal our sensibility in what we do, don't we? The type of shoes we wear is not really all that significant, but you can appreciate the illustration.  Sensibility is sound judgment - the ability to be cognizant of your circumstances, adaptable, and able to transition quickly.  When God asks for us to consider our "sensibility", he is not concerned with our choice of shoes as much as our choice of actions!

Are any of you wise or sensible? Then show it by living right and by being humble and wise in everything you do. But if your heart is full of bitter jealousy and selfishness, don’t brag or lie to cover up the truth. That kind of wisdom doesn’t come from above. It is earthly and selfish and comes from the devil himself. Whenever people are jealous or selfish, they cause trouble and do all sorts of cruel things. But the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere. When peacemakers plant seeds of peace, they will harvest justice. (James 3:13-18 CEV)

We show our wisdom by living right and by being humble and wise in all we do. That is a monumental mouthful, huh?  Wisdom - the knowledge of what is true and right, coupled with the discernment to act upon what we know to be true and right.  I don't know about you, but I can speak for myself - I don't always act upon what I know to be true and right!  In fact, I often make decisions and act upon thoughts or intuition, only to find I wasn't really very "wise" in those actions!  I recently was engaged in a conversation with a group of my work colleagues.  We were discussing our strengths after having done a "strengths inventory" by one of the companies who do these types of testing.  One of my strengths is "strategy" - I was the only one in the group with this strength.  When asked if how I saw this played out in my life, I guess I began to think about how I "think".  I "see things" in buckets - they begin to fit into "order" as I create "pictures" in my brain of how they work.  I used to take apart stuff (including things I could dissect in the classroom), with the intent of figuring out how they work.  It came naturally to me to put things in "order".

If you have ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, then you know that an INTJ is.  It stands for an "Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging" personality.  This is me - the scientist.  Primarily, I focus inwardly - operating a lot by my intuition.  I can see things rationally and logically - my mind is always working.  I am an "observer of the world" - I like to take in information, seeing the possibilities which may emerge.  I constantly gather information, making "associations" with what it is I take in.  One of the ways the INTJ expresses themselves is in bringing for the "images" created within our brains with the information we have assimilated through out intake.  Now, does it make sense why I like to write, enjoy doing this Bible Study, and don't mind the extra effort a little study requires?

I take in knowledge all around me - what I choose to do with the knowledge I take in is my choice.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  I must decide to reject some of it which might not produce the end result I desire, and to embrace the other stuff which may not make me the most comfortable, but which WILL produce the results desired!  No matter what your personality type, or "strengths" might be, the same is true for all of us.  We "take in" a great deal, but we have to be able to "think on our feet" to determine if what we are taking in "fits into the buckets" which will produce loving and kind actions.  If not, the actions will not be wholesome and these thoughts are to be rejected.  Such are the thoughts associated with jealousy, envy, bitterness, and the list goes on.  

When we take in the things into our minds and hearts which only produce negative outcomes, we exercise wisdom when we reject those as "unwise" and "not sensible".  But...this takes some practice on our part, but we won't always "bucket" those things correctly.  Sometimes they wear a different "face" than they did the last time we encountered them.  Whenever Dad caught the first fish of the day, he'd hand it off to me and I would set about to open up the stomach to see what they had been biting on.  I didn't look at the stuff up toward the front of the stomach (the most recent intake), but at what seemed to be the majority of the intake.  Why?  It gave me insight into their most common interest.  The same is true when we examine our thoughts and the actions they have been producing.  The most common intake will produce the most common actions!  So, our "output" is a matter of our "input". Nothing in - nothing out.  Good stuff in - good stuff out.  Better stuff in - even better stuff out!  Just sayin!