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In the unfolding journey of life, the way we harness our thoughts not only carves our path to success but also aligns us with the discerning gaze of the Lord. He examines the depths of our minds and hearts. Who better to guide us in mastering this art than the Master Himself—Jesus Christ? 

Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever. (1 Sam 2:25) 

“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. (1 Chron 28:9) 

I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings. (Jer 17:10) 

In the modern world and the current information revolution of increasing social media echo chambers, misinformation and fake news, political polarisation and group identities, consumer choices and environmental impact, health and wellness misconceptions, the shortcomings of educational systems, poor financial decisions and investment scams it has become of paramount importance that we learn to THINK!! 

Sometimes I hear people who are blessed with an inquiring mind say, that they find the Church “narrow-minded”, “short-sighted”, and “too judgmental”. They want to engage in open intellectual debate about the questions of life, as new evidence continually is coming to light. This may be so in some cases, but in this sermon, I want to show that God invites and welcomes inquiring minds!!

Like all good things, our minds need to be harnessed, disciplined, “domesticated” and restrained to have any true value. A mind that is uncontrolled, is good for nothing because it cannot produce anything of substance and value!

Hence the call for “critical thinking” from all corners of society we now see on social media platforms.

What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking, as defined by Rod Benson[1], involves the process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion. It’s a disciplined, self-directed, and corrective thinking process that necessitates humility and a willingness to follow where evidence and reason lead. 

Understanding vs Knowledge:

“Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7 (NKJV)  

Understanding establishes you, you can only DO what you understand.  This is why knowledge by itself is eventually deemed futile and empty, if not balanced with understanding.  Jesus pursued wisdom and understanding from a young age: Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers(Luke 2 :46-47) 

Critical thinkers have the ability to evaluate their own thinking using standards of good reasoning. These include what we collectively call the values of inquiry such as precision, clarity, depth and breadth of treatment, coherence, significance and relevance. [2]

The so-called critical thinkers also have to learn to become critical of their own thinking, particularly when one’s thinking leads to the conclusion that “there is no God”.  This is a great foolishness. 

Spiritual vs Carnal Thinking: 

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor 2:6-16)

Jesus discerned the wisdom of the world, of man, of death and carnality. “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Mat 16:23) 

Thinking is a spiritual process, because one is linking and connecting various lines of thought together to form a coherent idea. Some ideas are from God, and others are from man, some originate in the pit of hell. Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (1 Tim 4:1-5)

Obedience to the Spirit Dissolves Cognitive Dissonance: 

So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (Rom. 7:24) This verse summarizes many people’s spiritual dilemma! We have become “clever sinners”! We know one thing in our mind but act differently according to our fleshly habits. The ANSWER broadly explained in Rom. 8 is summed up in verse 14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  (Rom. 8:14). Instead of being led by our fleshly impulses, we are now led by the Spirit!! 

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” (James 1:22)

True wisdom and critical thinking are about acquiring knowledge and applying it in our lives. This verse challenges us to put our understanding into practice, embodying the principles we have critically considered.


The word “critical” comes from the Greek word kritikos, meaning “to question, to make sense of, to be able to analyze.”  “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Acts 17:11). The Bereans exemplify the analytical aspect of critical thinking, not taking information at face value but examining and analyzing it against the truth of Scripture.  

When approached by the Sadducees, who deny the resurrection, Jesus is confronted with a hypothetical question meant to ridicule the concept of resurrection: He brilliantly exposed the fault in their thinking.  

Jesus answered and said to them, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.” (Mark 12:24-27)


“I applied my heart to know, to search and seek out wisdom and the reason of things, to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness.” (Ecclesiastes 7:25) 

The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd. And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.
(Eccl 12:11-13)

This pursuit of understanding the ‘reason of things’ reflects the synthesis element of critical thinking, where one seeks to comprehend and integrate diverse pieces of information into a coherent whole.  Jesus exposed the incoherence, hypocrisy, double standards of the Pharisees in a very direct confrontation.  

Woe to the Pharisees (Matthew 23:1-36). Jesus accused them of hypocrisy, legalism, and obstructing the path to the kingdom of heaven for others. He criticises them for tithing minutely while neglecting the “weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23).  There is even a deeper lesson here: One sometimes has to offend the head to get to the heart.  


“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (Thessalonians 5:21) Some people prove and test all things and hold on to the bad and the negative, resulting in conspiracy theories.  One can be sceptical in one’s thinking to question things, but beware of becoming sceptical, negative, or critical without faith! Being critical of people is not what changes them, is it FAITH in God that brings change! 

Critical thinking involves evaluating information to discern its value. This Scripture encourages us to test everything, retaining only what is true and good, mirroring the evaluative component of critical thinking.  

In answering the question, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus tells the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), which criticizes the Pharisees’ narrow interpretation of neighbourly love. By portraying a Samaritan—an individual considered a social and religious outsider—as the true neighbour for showing mercy, Jesus dismantles the Pharisees’ exclusionary practices and highlights their hypocrisy in claiming to uphold the law while failing to practice its foundational ethic of love and compassion.  

Jesus was a master to use simple stories people could relate with to dissolve the manmade religious sentiments and traditions.  

Humility and Openness:

“The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” (Proverbs 18:15)

A critical thinker is always learning, displaying humility and openness to new information. This verse highlights the attitude of always seeking and acquiring knowledge, which is essential for a critical thinker.  

Eventually continuing in studies, makes you an authority:  Jesus did not speak on His own authority: “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. (John 5:31-32) Academics acquire degrees and seek that their work be cited in other pursuits of knowledge.

Having studied something does not make you an expert! Unless what you have learned is tested by the fruits of righteousness in your own life.  Moreover, all has to be tested and weighed by God! Without His validation and confirmation, knowledge is empty and without substance.  

though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Heb 5:8-9) This verse spells out the process of the end-goal of critical thinking – to influence and direct people’s actions and activities for the Good. Jesus did not leave us with large volumes of words and ideas. Yet His words are tested, ageless, relevant directives on how to live a life that please God and man! Keep Jesus in view, as you set your course in the maze of knowledge.

Evidence and Reason:

“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.'” (Isaiah 1:18)

God invites us to reason, to engage in a logical dialogue, emphasizing the value He places on evidence and rational thought as a basis for understanding and belief. Reason and debate all things if you can, but you will not advance in life until you have reasoned with God about the condition of your heart! The greatest folly of some people is to become wise in your own opinions and have sin still firmly rooted and hidden in the heart!

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:38) 

The Importance of a Multitude of Counselors

“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14)

Seek diverse perspectives and advice when making decisions. Listening to a range of viewpoints can provide a more comprehensive understanding and safeguard against errors.

In weaving these Scriptures into the fabric of our understanding of critical thinking, it becomes evident that the Bible not only supports but also encourages a disciplined, analytical, and reflective approach to information and life’s challenges. It guides us toward a path of wisdom, grounded in humility, diligent in application, and steadfast in the pursuit of truth. Through this lens, we see that critical thinking is not just a modern intellectual endeavour but a timeless, Biblically endorsed quest for understanding and wisdom.