Skepticism

Flying PigA doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind

Skepticism is slow suicide.   Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything.  Thomas Henry Huxley

The important thing is not to stop questioning.  Albert Einstein

  Are you too much of a skeptic or perhaps too little of one? There is a place and a need for some degree of skepticism in our lives. We should learn to use it as a tool to help us better our reasoning and decision making.

When we are properly questioning things perhaps we are wisely being skeptical. We do not want to be skeptical so much that we question and doubt everything to the degree we become incapacitated by skepticism. We are talking about having a balanced approach when we utilize skepticism. A proper use of skepticism is one which causes us to keep up our antenna. We ask questions, we analyze and cautiously make decisions. We consider motives, timing, anything and everything that may bring light to better our decision making. A proper balance results in our being able to make a decision when we have had the time and have done our homework.

Being skeptical does not mean we will always decide in the negative. It means we have a reasonable and questioning state of mind. There are countless schemes, and campaigns designed to offer us something that often is a little too good to be true. If our tendency is to be trusting we believe what we are told, give them our money, and once again find out that this product too, was not what is was presented to be. On the other end of the trusting spectrum, we can be overly skeptical. We can be so doubting and untrusting, we cannot make a decision in favor of something because we are incapacitated by our skepticism and mistrust. We need to find a balance.

It is not good to be located on either end of the spectrum of skepticism. There are unscrupulous people who have placed ads advertising the sharing of their money making secrets through the purchase of their book. These people receive large sums of money from the easily duped among us. The secret in their book sometimes is to do the same thing they did. Place an ad in the paper.  Reap the money.  We should be prudently skeptical; meaning cautious and deliberate. We should do our homework. If proceeding looks appropriate, then we should proceed.  Give great credence to the adages: “if it looks to good to be true, it probably is” and “there is no free lunch”.

Challenge:  There are many dishonest people. You cannot believe everything you are told. They are all kinds of reasons to be skeptical. It should be used as a decision tool and should not become a handicap. Do not make your decisions too easily. Be deliberate. Do research. Ask questions. Trust your instincts. If in doubt, do not go forward. Only go forward when you determine there is a reason to do so. You will still make some mistakes.

Wisdom: Indecision, doubt and fear. The members of this unholy trio are closely related; where one is found, the other two are close at hand.  Napoleon Hill.

 

Spiritual: (NIV)

Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deceive one another.  Leviticus 19:11

 

In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6

 

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying. “This is the way, walk in it. “ Isaiah 30:21

When we are not guided by love in our hearts, we get into all kinds of trouble. When guided by love, we do not lie, mislead, or deceive. By the same token, when we are guided by love, we do not so easily find fault in others and sometimes may find ourselves being taking advantage of. God wants us to have generous and unselfish hearts, always looking for the good in others. Helping others is a greater good. God is in control of all things.

Prayer:  Help me to be aware of malice when intended by others, but also, help me to always look for the good.                                    

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One thought on “Skepticism

  1. Greg says:

    Words of wisdom most of us learned from our parents and many from church. Thanks Randall!

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