Disciplined thinking

10/24/18 1:30 AM

Proverbs 12.5,8
“The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful. A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of twisted mind is despised.”

Thinking is the mental mechanism that God has given to us to plan and pursue objectives, and it is one of the primary ways we look at, evaluate, and respond to the events and situations we experience. The effectiveness of our response to the situations of life is directly linked to the effectiveness of our thinking. When we think effectively, we respond effectively. When we do not think effectively, we tend to respond poorly.

As simple as it sounds, before you make a decision or take action – slow down and think. Use the E+R=O system. Press pause and gain clarity. Ask yourself:

  • What Outcome do I want?
  • What Event do I have?  
  • What Response do I need?  

1 Corinthians 14.20 says this: “Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature.”  This is a biblical directive to be wise and effective in the way we think and make decisions.  The message is straightforward: Do not be childish in the way you think. Be mentally mature.

Sadly, many professing Christians are quite childish and immature in their mental life. This is an area of Christian discipleship that must change.  Given the many complex challenges of the 21st century, the Christian community cannot afford shallow thinking. We are in great need of Christians who evaluate, think, and act with discipline.

To help you with a better understanding of immature thinking versus mature thinking, I have provided a side-by-side chart. Study the chart below to gain a better understanding of what effective, mature thinking looks like. Ineffective thinking is on the left, and disciplined thinking is on the right.

Trust God, do the work, and commit to the process of renewing your mind.

Self-centered Thinking
Dominated by a personal agenda.
Directed by the sin nature.
Disregards the goals and
perspectives of others.

Christ-centered Thinking
Guided by biblical principles.
Directed by your new nature in Christ.
Respects the goals and
perspectives of others.

Negative Thinking
Focuses on problems.
Preoccupied with what is wrong
In people and situations.

Pessimistic and cynical.

Positive Thinking

Focuses on solutions.
Actively looks for positive things
In people and situations.
Optimistic and productive.

Impulsive Thinking


Acts first, thinks second. Doesn’t pray.
Rationalizes and defends.

Directed by impulse and
undisciplined emotion.

Hasty, impetuous, impatient.

Disciplined Thinking


Thinks and prays, then takes action.

Reflects and learns.

Considers consequences before
taking action as well as after
taking action.

Patient careful, thoughtful

Combative Thinking

Want to win arguments and prove people wrong. Resists the ideas and insights of others. Wants to be right.

Collaborative Thinking

Works with others to make wise decisions. Actively seeks the ideas and insights of others. Want to be effective.

Fragmented Thinking

Sees a part, but not the whole. Ignores the elements that are uncomfortable or difficult.

Integrated Thinking

Sees the whole. Focuses on all the parts and how they fit together.

Either/Or Thinking

Reduces a complex issue to two opposing choices and creates an exaggerated “good choice” versus an exaggerated “bad choice.”

Both/And Thinking

Generates lots of options, and then

seeks to combine options in order

to find the most effective

course of action.

Topics: Proverb

Tim Kight

Written by Tim Kight

Founder of Focus 3, Tim focuses on the critical factors that distinguish great organizations from average organizations. He delivers a powerful message on the mindset & skills at the heart of individual & organizational performance.

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