Why do we make so many mistakes in life? How can it be we are so deceived about so many things? It all has to do with our reasoning processes…
When Noah Webster wrote our first American Dictionary in 1828, he defined the word reason as “to deduce inferences justly from premises. Brutes do not reason; (he wrote) children reason imperfectly.”
A premise he defines as “a first or antecedent proposition.” In other words, it’s the foundational idea. In reasoning (to deduce inferences justly) we either state a conclusion based on the foundational idea we know; or we examine ideas we know, in order to find the foundation idea on which they are based.
In the former we show what can be expected because of what we know. In other words, because we know a root, we can predict the fruit. We call this inductive reasoning. In the latter, we trace back through the ideas or events we do know (the “fruit”), in order to discover what we do not know (the “root”). We call this deductive reasoning.
So where did reasoning, itself, come from?
It came from the God who made us. He thinks this way. He stated in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD…” God likes to reason whether we do or not!! This is where Webster gets the idea that we must “justly” drawn conclusions from foundational ideas.
To “justly” reason is the key! This means there is a standard outside ourselves by which we are to measure our reasoning. God desires us to come to Him and compare our thoughts with His, revealed in the Bible. Only by doing this will we “justly deduce inferences from premises.” So God gave to us His law (His way of thinking); and He summed it up for us in the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5:1-22) and Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-7:29), so that we can reason “justly.” Someone paraphrased the definition of reason as, “to think with God.” Makes sense, doesn’t it?
The whole purpose of reasoning, in God’s mind, is so we will come into right relationship with Him through submitting our will to His, which begins with submitting to Jesus, His Son as our Master and Deliverer from that which keeps us from being surrendered to Him. Thus, He stated, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
When we submit our will to His, in Christ, we come into His order. That enables us to begin to think in His order. Without Him and His Word, the Bible, we get deceived and the result of deception is always confusion, which leads to destruction. And that—is why we make so many mistakes in life.
Wouldn’t it be easier to “think with God” than to try to learn from “the school of hard knocks (which, at best, is still imperfect)?” Think about it…