Don’t just talk/think about God; talk TO God

Look up: talk to God

In this devotional by John Piper, he looks at the 23rd Psalm, and how the writer — King David — switches back and forth between talking about God (“He”) and to God (“You”):

The lesson I have learned from this form is that it is good not to talk very long about God without talking to God.

Every Christian is at least an amateur theologian — that is, a person who tries to understand the character and ways of God and then put that into words….

But what I have learned from David in Psalm 23 and other psalms, is that I should interweave my theology with prayer. I should frequently interrupt my talking about God by talking to God.

Not far behind the theological sentence, “God is generous,” should come the prayerful sentence, “Thank you, God.”

On the heels of, “God is glorious,” should come, “I adore your glory.”

What I have come to see is that this is the way it must be if we are feeling God’s reality in our hearts as well as describing it with our heads.’

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Why slow thinkers are better thinkers

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…and why getting away from the crowd — even/especially the virtual one — matters:

Essayist William Deresiewicz, from a lecture delivered to the plebe class at the United States Military Academy at West Point in October 2009.

“I find for myself that my first thought is never my best thought. My first thought is always someone else’s; it’s always what I’ve already heard about the subject, always the conventional wisdom. It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all the parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an original idea. By giving my brain a chance to make associations, draw connections, take me by surprise. And often even that [second] idea doesn’t turn out to be very good. I need time to think about it, too, to make mistakes and recognize them, to make false starts and correct them, to outlast my impulses, to defeat my desire to declare the job done and move on to the next thing.

“Thinking for yourself means finding yourself, finding your own reality. Here’s the other problem with Facebook and Twitter and even The New York Times. When you expose yourself to those things, especially in the constant way that people do now—older people as well as younger people—you are continuously bombarding yourself with a stream of other people’s thoughts…. You are creating a cacophony in which it is impossible to hear your own voice.

Leadership means finding a new direction, not simply putting yourself at the front of the herd that’s heading toward the cliff.

“Introspection means talking to yourself, and one of the best ways of talking to yourself is by talking to another person. One other person you can trust, one other person to whom you can unfold your soul. One other person you feel safe enough with to allow you to acknowledge things—to acknowledge things to yourself—that you otherwise can’t. Doubts you aren’t supposed to have, questions you aren’t supposed to ask…..

“This is what we call thinking out loud, discovering what you believe in the course of articulating it. But it takes just as much time and just as much patience as solitude in the strict sense. And our new electronic world has disrupted it just as violently. Instead of having one or two true friends that we can sit and talk to for three hours at a time, we have 968 ‘friends’ that we never actually talk to; instead we just bounce one-line messages off them a hundred times a day. This is not friendship, this is distraction.”

The original article, posted as “Solitude and Leadership” on The American Scholar.