“You’re not thinking clearly!” “You’re being irrational!” “You need to stop being so emotional!” We might hear these expressions from friends or family who disagree with a decision we’re making that doesn’t make sense to them. The question is, do we listen to them and take their advice or go ahead with our choice?
According to Wikipedia, the psychology of reasoning studies how we reason. In other words, what process do we use in drawing conclusions to solve problems and make decisions? We use reasoning daily, even when we take a day off from making big decisions. The ability to reason is hardwired, even when we’re irrational.
For example, before beginning this article, I googled the “psychology of logical reasoning.” And I scanned a couple of the suggested articles to get an idea of whether this topic is helpful, given the content of the chapters from Angela Hunt’s book that I’m using to inform this week’s message. And I quickly concluded that presenting this topic’s technical description is unnecessary. But how did I get to this conclusion? I used logical reasoning.
In Daughter of Cana, Tasmin, and Jude travel in search of their siblings. Tasmin is convinced that her twin brother, Thomas, is not thinking rationally. Jude has similar thoughts about his older brother, Yeshua. Their conclusion is based on observing the behavior of their brothers in light of what they believe to be true about how the world works. They used logical reasoning.
In their conclusion, Yeshua and Thomas are not thinking clearly, being irrational, and perhaps letting emotions interfere with sound decision-making. Thomas should be home in Cana helping with date farming, and Yeshua is a skilled carver with work waiting for him in Nazareth. Their siblings aim to convince them to return to their respective homes. And they planned to use logical reasoning.
The problem, however, centers around Jude’s brother. Yeshua is derived from ancient Hebrew and is more commonly known as Jesus. Thomas is one of several persons traveling with Yeshua and hanging on to His every word. “Where is the logic?” our story’s main characters wonder in their thoughts and conversations.
Jesus said to them, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.” At once they left their nets and went with him.
We know from Scripture that Jesus selected a team of twelve persons as His inner circle. What isn’t clear is how Jesus determined His choices and why those He invited didn’t ask more questions before joining Him. Where is the logic?
Matthew tells us that Jesus met Peter and his brother Andrew while walking along the shore of Lake Galilee. The two brothers were using a net to fish in the lake when Jesus said, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.”
While Jesus’ offer to teach them something new was perhaps intriguing, Matthew offers no other context for how they both conclude to leave their nets and go with Jesus. We only know that they did. But did they use logic to make their decision to change vocations?
And Jesus wasn’t quite finished recruiting.
Walking further, Jesus comes upon two other brothers, James and John. They were in their boat with their father, Zebedee, getting their nets ready for fishing when Jesus called them. Like Peter and Andrew, the two left the boat and their father and went with Jesus. Where is the logic?
Nevertheless, the decisions of these individuals, whether based on logical reasoning, gut feeling, intuition, or rumors they believed to be true about Jesus, were life-changing. More importantly, their decisions impacted persons they would never have met with a different conclusion.
This is not to say that had one or more of them chosen differently, the world would be different. For example, we don’t know if Peter, Andrew, James, and John were Jesus’ first choice or if He was turned down by the first dozen or so individuals He asked. We’re not told, leaving us to conclude this information isn’t relevant. What matters most is these four said yes when given an opportunity to drop what they were doing and risk everything to follow Jesus.
I’m convinced that God finds a way even when we can’t imagine a way exists. I’m also convinced that Jesus is always inviting new followers. And each invitation comes with a decision that may seem so illogical as to cause nausea. But, unfortunately, decisions that promise to turn our life upside-down are like that.
More important, I’m convinced a decision to follow Jesus isn’t made through ordinary logic. Instead, to choose to follow Jesus while knowing that life will never be the same is to receive a divinely crafted gift. But this doesn’t mean Jesus tells His would-be followers to abandon all logic.
On the contrary, Jesus offered illustrations to a crowd to help them realize that there is a cost to following Him. For example, Luke tells us that Jesus explained that a rational person wouldn’t start a major building project without first estimating the cost. Otherwise, Jesus explained, you could run out of money before completion. In this same way, while our decision follow is a gift and not based on our capacity for complex logic, we need not abandon logic altogether.
How about you? Have you made a decision to follow Jesus? If so, what is the logic?
I invite you to follow along with us during our series. You can obtain a copy of Angela Hunt’s book online, in bookstores, or look for it at the library. Our copies went fast, but you can contact our office if you need help finding a book. We have more copies coming.
You can join us each Sunday in person or online by clicking the button on our website’s homepage – Click here to watch. This button takes you to our YouTube channel. You can find more information about us on our website at FlintAsbury.org.
A reminder that we publish this newsletter that we call the Circuit Rider each week. You can request this publication by email. Send a request to connect@FlintAsbury.org or let us know when you send a message through our website. We post an archive of past editions on our website under the tab, Connect – choose Newsletters.
Our series was inspired by and relies on content provided by Angela Hunt. Daughter of Cana. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2020.