In February this year I posted Idiot Test #1, to prompt people to think about how shallow and useless complaining proves to be. People tend to think that making a verbal complaint to someone of no authority actually accounts for something, when it is quite ineffective. I was piqued by seeing this in action and so I created the Idiot Test.
If you missed the test you can go back and try it at: http://chrisfieldblog.com/ministry/idiot-test-1
The following comments were written in response to questions about why I created the test. They will prompt you to think again about the issues involved. The Idiocy that I am illuminating in the Idiot Test is that of our defeatist mindset.
The test was a throw-together job, so I don’t expect it to stand up to the highest scrutiny from Research Companies or social philosophers. It is a tease, to cause people to at least recognise that if they feel upset about things but are locked in ‘inactivity’ they are not in a good place.
There are many places to go from that starting point, but I am afraid many people will never get onto the starting block. Along the way I will come across some people who are being proactive and finding God’s wisdom about what to do and how to change things, and who will have the personal preparation to be able to be God’s man on the job.
One chap became concerned that a major department store was selling pornographic magazines and so he took action. He went into a store and had his young daughter take a copy of one of the magazines to the counter and pay for it. The chap photographed the exchange and kept the receipt.
He then wrote to the company, which had a policy that these restricted items would only be sold to people over 18 years, and pointed out that the very fact that they stocked these items meant the event which he had photographed could easily be repeated multiple times.
The national company immediately withdrew all their pornography from their stores.
What made that man stand apart from others was that he did not see himself as powerless. He was concerned and prayerfully considered what he might be able to do. Then he went ahead and did it.
He did not need a placard-waving mob to picket the stores. His actions were private and non-sensational, but wonderfully effective.
It has been said that we are responsible for our own ignorance. We achieve our ignorance mostly by blind acceptance of the messages which we are fed on a daily basis.
The devil finds ways to tell us that Christianity and faith are meaningless and irrelevant in the real world. He doesn’t want us standing on God’s Word and being effective.
Those who control our society find ways to tell us that we must comply with every directive or we will be hit with the full force of the law and publicly shamed on the media. They don’t want us exercising our God-given authority and right to question them.
Banks tell us that a few percent is the best return we can get for our money. They want to keep up their record-breaking profits.
Marketers tell us their product is the best on the market. They want us to buy whatever they have, whether it is what we need or not.
Governments tell us there is nothing they can do but go down their chosen path. They want us to lie down and let them do whatever their political agenda directs.
Experts tell us all manner of things. They want us to depend on them and not question the validity of their opinions.
Then the popular media tells us what morals we should have, what goods we should own, what lifestyle we should aspire to and so on.
These are the voices I refer to in my posts about the “Right To Speak” – Check those posts out on my blog:
The questions you need to settle are: Who are you, really? Who has the right to tell you who you are? What are you doing on planet earth? What has God put you here for? If God has a plan for you then how does who you are fit in with what God wants you to do? If God is your authority then what are the bounds of your personal influence and effectiveness? What are the lies which you have been indoctrinated with since birth which blind you to who you are, the power you have and the destiny which God has called you to fulfil?
In what ways are you abandoning your divine destiny by living for self, loving the world, being conformed to the messages which the world (including the religious world) sends you, and not bothering to do anything about it?
If you are actually living under some delusions and enslavements that stop you being who God created you to be, does that bother you? Are you prepared to live for God if your culture and church friends object? Do you belong to God, yourself or your culture?
Oh, and Where does your truth come from? Do you stand wholeheartedly on what the Bible actually says? Or do you filter everything through human reasoning, on the basis of what seems to make best sense to you? Or do you let experts, unbelievers and ungodly people influence your perception of what is true? Remember Psalm 1:1 refers to “the counsel of the ungodly”. James 3:15 describes human wisdom as devilish.
Now, somewhere in those questions is a journey. But most of us don’t want a journey, we want a comfortable destination. So we settle, like Christian climbing the mount of Difficulty, on some shady spot where we feel pretty good.
Interestingly, Jacob described his life as a journey, a “pilgrimage”, meaning that he never actually “arrived”.
“And Jacob said to Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.” Genesis 47:9
That’s why the writer to the Hebrews could speak of the Patriarchs as being ‘pilgrims’.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he has prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:13-16
Life is a ‘pilgrimage’, as we travel on assignment from God.
But most of us want to settle down, into some comfortable niche where we can serve ourselves, find a church that suits us, a job that suits us, a reality that suits us, a calling that suits us, and so on.
And then people settle back to complaining about the things that don’t suit them, but being powerless to do anything about it, because they have lost contact with the God who called them to a powerful life.
Our effectiveness comes from finding ourselves in God’s plan, with His power and wisdom at our disposal, because we have determined to be a person who fulfils divine destiny, despite how much that upsets our comfort zone.
If we have not come to that place then we will fit in with the demands of others. We may wave placards, get on our soap box at work, write letters of complaint and so on, with some effect. But we will be missing the true and more powerful impact we can have.
However, being more powerful than the general community means we need to go a little further than the local community, in our study of God’s Word, our education about what is really going on, our understanding of who God created us to be, and so on.