I’m sure that’s what my husband’s mom said to him when she discovered him walking down the railroad tracks looking for the train.
It’s certainly was what I said to my 10-year-old son and his friend after they threw wet cement on the new walls of the house being built next door.
What were you thinking?
Children often don’t think, or they don’t think of the consequences of their actions. Gratefully most of them grow up to think some about what they do and say.
God has the same problem with us. How many times—maybe every day—must He be saying, “What were you thinking?”
Of course he isn’t surprised. Long ago He said: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)
Actually, I’ve discovered that my natural thoughts are usually just the opposite of what God says. Try these statements straight from Jesus:
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…. (Matthew 5:11-12)
And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. (Matthew 5:40-41)
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,…(Matthew 5:44)
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. (Matthew 6:25)
Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39)
…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave. (Matt 20:26-27)
Paul adds these crazy words:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
What is God thinking? Who can do this? Is there any hope for us?
Yes. God knew we would never be able to comprehend His thoughts—they are too far beyond us. But He made a provision:
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
He assures us that His Spirit is working in us to change our minds, to transform our thinking into his thinking. It takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. But slowly we begin to find we have new thoughts, different responses, amazing attitudes.
And God doesn’t have to say nearly so often, “What were you thinking?”
I would love your thoughts: When have God’s thoughts seemed impossible to you?
c2100 Judy Douglass