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What Were You Thinking? Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.

Posted by on December 19th, 2011 with 0 Comments


You have listened to one side of a conversation and wondered, “Where did that come from?”  I remember hearing one side of a cell phone exchange that went something like this, “You cannot be right… (silence)… If that is true, I won’t be involved… (silence)… that’s enough; I quit.”

I felt a powerful temptation to ask, “Where did that come from?”  However, I felt an even more powerful inhibition against intruding on a stranger’s life.  I never did discover the story.  I only heard half the conversation.  Hearing half the conversation happens in many ways, especially if we understand “conversation” in broad strokes.

Make Thinking Visible

Thinking is a great example.  We do not generally “hear” other people’s thinking.  We hear the result of their thinking in the opinions they express, the ideas they share, the plans they design, and the decisions they make.  On occasion, upon hearing the result of our friends thinking, we might wonder, “Where did that come from?”

As a professor, one of my tasks is to help my students make their thinking “visible.”  When a student expresses an opinion or an idea, I will ask, “What made you say that?”  The question serves a double purpose.  It helps me understand the thinking of my student.  It also helps the student understand his or her own thinking.  To make thinking visible means to help someone take what has happened in the back of the mind and express it so it can be seen and understood.

When we make our thinking visible, the reward is a deeper and more authentic relationship with one another as well as a more genuine understanding of ourselves.

The Word Became Flesh

In a grand and wonderful way, God made His thinking visible in Jesus Christ.  The mind of God became visible in Jesus; the Word of God became flesh and blood.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

When you want to know what God is thinking, all you have to do is look at the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  If you want to know God’s plans and purpose, look at the compassion and determination of Jesus.  Jesus is the grace of God in flesh.  Jesus is the truth of God in human skin.  You may wonder at the ways of God and ask, “Where did that come from?”  The answer is in Jesus Christ.  You may question God, “What made you do that?” Look to Jesus.  Jesus is the thinking, the heartbeat, and the essence of God.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:15-20).

Jesus is the Word, the mind, the heart, the soul, the Son of God.  God is amazingly like Jesus.

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