194. Think For Yourself

194. Think For Yourself

Dr. Jordan Peterson announced his comeback from his medical absence. He is a Psychology professor at U of T who received significant media attention through his free speech stance. He is also the author of “12 Rules for Life“, which became the #1 international Bestseller in a year. It is the book I highly recommend to all, especially young people. I am one of the people who are glad to have him back. Many people respect him for many different reasons, but I appreciate him for allowing many people to “think” again.

Modern society is full of “slogans.” Slogans are simple phrases that seem so simple and true at first, but when explored more in-depth, they are hidden ideological ideas of someone else. Modern people have a busy life and rarely get to think deep. So unintentionally, many allow others to think for them by uncritically accepting ideas that are not theirs and populating them. Some people say they are free to “think,” but they may not be “free” to think. You are not free when slogans created by others mainly shape your thoughts.

The biggest problem with slogans is that it makes people emotionally attached to an idea that they haven’t thoroughly thought through and understood for themselves. Some time ago, I saw an interview done by a news anchor, and the girl kept insisting that university education should be free. The anchor quietly asked her, “If so, where should the money come from?”. The poor girl was visibly startled and trying to find the answer. But she eventually chose to keep shouting her slogan again. It was apparent to me she never thought through what she was standing up for so vigilantly.

Many people thank Jordan Peterson for changing their lives his teaching. And that feedback seems genuine to me, not lip service. One of the main reasons is because he helped them realize they were not thinking for themselves. Philosopher Descartes famously said, “I think, therefore I am.” Being able to think for ourselves is foundational for a meaningful existence.

As a pastor, I want our congregations to receive my message willingly and critically to see for themselves if it is consistent with the Bible, just like Berea’s people did. (Acts 17:11). That is why we offer Bible Studies. Faith well-understood produces living works. Faith that is not thought-through produces dead works (Hebrews 6:1), a repetition of religious activities without knowing why.