I visited a church recently, and sat through a sermon on forgiveness. As I looked around the congregation, I saw people intently listening and agreeing with the message without stopping and thinking about whether or not it made sense. Over the years, they had been indoctrinated into believing all that was said, without ever having to “Stop and Think!” Even as a child in church, I listened to what was being said rather than to the message itself, and was always finding things that were illogical and inconsistent. On this night, the pastor was going through an outline of things that God had said about forgiveness. One item was that God says he will forgive you of everything if you only ask for it; even you do not deserve it. The congregation nodded in agreement. Then, a later point stressed that God cannot forgive you if you cannot forgive others. Again, the congregation nodded in agreement. These two points were in complete opposition, but the congregation had been so indoctrinated just to believe that they did not see the inconsistency.
If you are a martial art student, you will hear the same thing repeated over and over in class for years. After a while, you grow to accept it as the truth, without ever stopping to consider its truthfulness. While it may be true, do not accept it as the truth until you “Stop and Think!” about it.
As an experiment, consider some term, saying, concept, or doctrine you have heard all your life as being true, and then “Stop and Think!” about it using all the knowledge you have acquired in life. Does it stand up to your personal scrutiny?
Before you believe what a politician, salesperson, clergy, teacher, friend, relative, martial arts instructor, or even your parents tell you, “Stop and Think!”
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