Straight thinking ∙

Commit your works to the LORD, and your plans will be established. – Proverbs 16:3

James 1:6-8

 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.

 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.

Straight and Crooked Thinking, by Robert H. Thouless, was first published in 1930 and revised in 1953. The author reviews and critically evaluates common flaws employed in reasoning and argumentation. The author discusses thirty-eight wrong-thinking fallacies. Among them are:

Proof by example (sometimes known as an inappropriate generalization) is a logical fallacy whereby the validity of a statement is illustrated through one or more examples or cases – rather than full-fledged proof.

Cherry-picking, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence, points to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position while ignoring a significant portion of related and similar cases or data that may contradict that position. Bias can also blind a person and prevent an honest evaluation, judgment, or decision.

What does it mean to think straight? To think straight is to think rationally or calmly, clearly or logically. “I’m so tired I can’t think straight.” This phrase is often used in the negative to convey the opposite.

Romans 1:28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind.

Something tragic happened when people chose not to acknowledge the existence and reality of the living God. There is a play on words in the original Greek that does not come across in English.

The Greek verb translated as not see fit is dokimazo. Dokimazo has the basic sense of testing something to approve it. The people in mind did not regard God as even worth considering. They are basically theophobic.

The Greek word translated as debased or corrupted is adokimos. Adokimoscomes from a – without and dokimos – acceptable, tested, and approved. Hence it means failing to meet the test; therefore, worthless, unqualified, unapproved, unworthy, spurious, or reprobate. “In the present context, corrupted refers to a mind that no longer functions as it should . . . [it lacks the] ability to make moral and spiritual distinctions. Phillips renders this phrase as “degenerate minds” and the NEB as “depraved reason” (USB).

The thinking of fallen humanity is, at best, limited and bent. At worst, it is unqualified to make sound moral judgments. The human mind is powerful but slightly skewed. Some have likened it to a powerful giant buzz saw used in sawmills to cut tree trunks into boards. What happens when you run a tree trunk through a saw blade that is slightly out of alignment and skewed? And saddest of all, people do not know their thinking is off-kilter.

The Father thinks perfectly straight. He always has and always will. He never varies. He never equivocates. He is consistent and, therefore, totally trustworthy.


Can you imagine the Father saying, “Whoops, I made a mistake?”

Father I recognize that my thinking is limited and often bent and biased. Enable me to think Your thoughts after You and gain stability and consistency.


He made us in His image and gave us the ability to think and reason. Yet our knowledge is extremely limited. Compared to Him, even the wisest and most intelligent among us down through the millennia knows almost nothing.

Isaiah 55:8-9

 8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”

 9 “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Right thinking comes from a proper understanding of the personality and attributes of the Father God. The apostle recognized that the Father is all-knowing and all-powerful. The Father is sovereign in all things. Paul’s understanding allowed him to think straight and remain calm under challenging circumstances.

Psalms 46:1-2

 1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

 2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.

Wrong thinking results in instability (Chuck Swindoll).

A double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:8).

The Greek word translated as double-minded is dipsuchos. Dipsuchos literally means having two minds. It connotes being uncertain about the truth of something or someone: doubting or hesitating. It speaks of a person with divided loyalties.

The Greek translated as unstable is akatastatos. Akatastatos is derived from anot and kathístemito settle. Thus it has the sense of being unsettled, unsteady, restless, fickle, not subject to control, or unruly.

How do we become stable and learn to think straight?

We place our utter confidence in Him. We should exchange our thoughts for His thoughts, our ways for His ways. We begin by granting the fact that the Father is the final arbitrator. What He says is not opinion but Truth.

Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden upon the LORD, and He will take care of you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

The psalmist encourages us to pass our burdens to the Lord and allow Him to take the load. We give Him our anxious thoughts, our worries, and our troubles. We allow the Father to be “troubled” and “worried” in our place.

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© Dr. H 2023

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