It’s easy to stay in your bubble. It’s cozy and familiar. Even on the occasion when one belief is causing friction with another, as long as no outside source shines light on the cognitive dissonance, we can keep on keeping on.
But that’s not what we’re called to do. And it’s not really what we’re content with, is it?
What Should We Do?
Jesus said, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’ (Matt. 22:37 ESV).
And the psalmist said, “Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them” (Psa. 111:2 ESV).
Proverbs reminds us that, “The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps” (Prov. 14:15 ESV).
Last week, my husband reached out to a respected professor of systematic and historical theology for input on an upcoming kids apologetics story about heaven. The conversation presented us with information that could not coexist with our preexisting information. We were left with the choice to discard the new information out of hand and preserve our long(er)-held understanding, or square the two perspectives up and let the ideas and facts duke it out.
We decided to let them duke it out.
So, we took time to absorb the info. We did further research. We discussed. In fact, we intentionally looked at disagreeing (and sometimes uncomfortable) positions. After pouring over all of the info, we came to our conclusion.
The conclusion isn’t the same one we started with; it is better.
No Matter the Outcome, It’s Worthwhile.
That doesn’t always happen. We’ve given serious consideration to several ideas (such as ideas presented by mormonism about God, or by Jehovah’s Witnesses about hell) and haven’t arrived at new conclusions. Our empathy for people who hold differing views increased, and our understanding of their positions changed, but we didn’t alter our belief for ideas we found to be weak or false.
It’s important not to create a yes-man bubble with our reading material, our media consumption, and even our friends. It’s important for us to step outside of our bubble to test new ideas. We also want our kids to look carefully at other views and to take time to test their own.We should be mindful that the idea they’re comparing isn’t a straw-man of the actual idea. They should be carefully discipled to avoid tossing out their belief at the sight of some new and shiny information, but also taught to not discount the new and shiny out of hand.
What Belief Keeps You up at Night?
Are there any topics that are particularly difficult for you to step out of your bubble to investigate? Any that are just plain daunting or seem to silly to give consideration? We’d love to hear about them! Please let us know on our corresponding Facebook post.
Happened to see this video clip on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and it is a GREAT example of how the word “belief” is thrown around and how it can become associated with unsubstantiated ideas. Yikes.