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What Were You Thinking?

Looking back at my childhood, one thing stands out: my older brother was a thinker, and I was not. My brother thought of others and received their favor. He always knew the right thing to say and do. I found out early to let my brother make the deal, and then I would jump in on the benefits. Because he wanted the best for me, he would let me mooch off of him. Doug is still a wonderful brother.

Because I usually failed to think things through, I often found myself in a disgusting mess. This would cause my Mom to grab me by my left earlobe and ask me the embarrassing question: What were you thinking! It seems like a simple question, but usually, I had not been thinking of anything worthy to report. As a boy, I thought little of thinking thoughtful thoughts.

Once when we were visiting friends, I discovered that the lady of the house had put her freshly baked cobblers in the back screened porch on the washing machine to cool. There was a deep need for me to know what kind of cobblers they were, and if they were any good. While stretching to see, I accidently knocked one pan to the floor with a crash. This attracted the family dog who started barking and running through the now floored dessert. All the noise provoked the parental authority figures in the house to rush to judgment. As my Dad lifted me high off of the ground, he carried me outside. Sure enough, he asked me the same old question: What were you thinking?

Most of the readers of this blog can relate to my childhood experience. You committed some mindless action that landed you in hot water. Would you be so kind to share that experience with me? Send it to

In the Bible, there were some irresponsible folks who committed some mindless errors and proved that they did not think through the ramifications of their actions. Immaturity can lead to some really bad consequences.

Teenage Joseph was given a brilliant coat of many colors, and loved to flaunt it in front of his brothers. He would show off his coat and brag about his special relationship with his father (Genesis 37). Now what did he expect would happen? Someone grab Joseph by his left earlobe and ask: What were you thinking? He ended up in a pit, and was left for dead. Obviously he had not thought things through. Everything turned out fine, but it was a difficult story.

Then there was Jonah who ran from God (Jonah 1:3). Did he really think he could outrun God? Or how about King Saul when he defiantly sought the counsel of the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28). Did he really think he would find God’s will from a witch? Really? What were you thinking, Saul? Or consider Adam and Eve. They had it all, but all is never enough. So they started to focus on the one thing they could not have, and it wrecked everything. Obviously, they were not thinking what God was thinking. Disobedience, witchcraft, and greed will always lead to ruin – book it.

On the other hand, Jesus is always thinking of us. Ephesians 1 states clearly that Christ thinks of us as blessed, chosen, loved, adopted, redeemed and secure in Him. And like His Father, His “thoughts are higher than our thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9). That’s a challenge to us to be thoughtful, and to keep our thoughts at the highest plane possible.

Let me finish with the words of that old Gospel song by Ronny Hinson that says: “The look of love was on His face, The thorns on His head, The blood was on that scarlet robe, And it was stained in crimson red. Though His eyes were on the crowd that day, He looked ahead in time, For while He was on the cross, You were on His mind.”

Lord, help me to think more, talk less, and live right!

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