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How Do We Avoid Over-Thinking (or Under-Thinking) the Christian Life? - Ask Pastor John

Video from Desiring God

How Do We Avoid Over-Thinking (or Under-Thinking) the Christian Life? - Ask Pastor John

Audio Transcript

How do we avoid over-thinking or under-thinking the Christian life? It’s a relevant question for a podcast that spends a lot of time talking about the Christian life. And the question today comes from a listener named Ronnie.

“Hello, Pastor John, and thank you for this podcast — I’ve been richly blessed by it over the years. I know you are a Grape-Nuts guy. I am too! So I chuckled when I read this in G.K. Chesterton’s book ‘Heretics’: ‘There is more simplicity in the man who eats caviar on impulse than in the man who eats Grape-Nuts on principle. The chief error of these people is to be found in the very phrase to which they are most attached — “plain living and high thinking.” These people do not stand in need of, will not be improved by, plain living and high thinking. They stand in need of the contrary. They would be improved by high living and plain thinking.’ Ha!

“Do you ever wonder or harbor a concern over — and this podcast I think may be an expression of — an over-thinking of all the details and options in the Christian life, at the expense of simply living our lives with the joy of impulse? In other words, Pastor John, can we over-think the Christian life?”

Well, a complex, mental, tortured eating of Grape-Nuts is probably inferior to a spontaneous, happy, simple eating of caviar. But I wonder about a spontaneous, simple eating of Grape-Nuts!

The Danger in Thinking

Here’s my answer to whether you can over-think things. The answer is yes; we can over-think our lives. If Ronnie were to ask me if we can under-think our lives, I would say yes; we can under-think our lives.

“Thinking is valuable as a prelude to receiving divine illumination.”

The problem is not just quantity — over- and under-thinking — the problem is quality as well, like thinking carefully and thinking sloppily, or thinking truly and thinking falsely.

Now, whether this podcast — and this very moment as I’m analyzing and picking apart these words — is guilty of over-thinking, under-thinking, sloppy thinking, or false thinking, others will have to judge.." from the Transcript


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