Category Of Thought
If something is intuitive, it is something which comes to mind easily and quickly. It does not take a lot of thinking. It is what one would expect. In the world of computers, it used to be said that “GUI” of the “Mac” was more intuitive than that of the PC. That is, the GUI was designed to anticipate what the user would think and that is what it was. When one was deleting something, it meant that it should be thrown in the trash. Therefore, Mac used a “trash can icon” to reflect that action. A user dragged what he wanted to delete to that trash can icon which was located on the Mac screen.
At times the concept of “intuitive” or “not intuitive” can be used to . . . .
- generating content
- developing a point
- driving the main idea
- develop an introduction or conclusion
- frame the Big Idea
- clarify a concept.
This category of thought is part of God’s creation of man. We have been created in such a way that part of our thinking processes involves being intuitive. That is, there are thoughts which out to be ours naturally. There are some thoughts we ought to have by the very nature of our creation, and by the very nature of time and experience in life and living. The Lord created us with the ability to think some thoughts without having someone formally teach us but through the process of everyday mental awareness and reasoning.
There are some biblical truths and principles which God says are “intuitive.” Of course we ought to know that if we have the God-given ability to think. The most obvious example of this is found in the book of Romans, chapter 1. God, through the mouth of Paul, states that knowing that there is a God is intuitive.
God has so created mankind and constructed this world that whether one has any other form of revelation, mankind can know that there is a God – intuitively! You do not need “special revelation” to know that there is a God.
Romans 1 states that everyone has been given a sufficient amount of “accountability revelation.” They can and should know that there is a God, that He has created this world, and that He has created us in His image – intuitively. Because when God created men and this world, He put in mankind His image and a consciousness of Him, and He has built into this world a clear message of His power, greatness, and wrath against ungodliness.
There may be other truths which are not intuitive, but a knowledge of God by and through His creation is intuitive by design!
There are other biblical truths which mankind can intuitively know, that is they do not need anything but two eyes and ears to easily conclude and/or understand. We would say, “Just look at this-or-that, it is obvious! Just like we know when we see that “trash can icon” and think, that must be for dumping what we want to get rid of.” The Bible says,
- “Look at the ant”
- “Walk by the field of the lazy”
- “Watch the fool stand on the street corner”
- “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit”
- “Which of you shall have an ox”
- “Which of you intending to build a tower”
- “Which of you having a servant will say to him”
- “A Father and son ask bread . . . give him a stone”
- “He is the God of the living”
- “Thou hast answered right”
Now there is also another point to make when one actually deals with, explains, and seeks to understand a particular passage of Scripture which revolves around this concept of “intuitive.”
There are passages which specifically call up the existence of something which out to be or one would think to be intuitive (obvious, not taking a lot of thought, easily grasped and/or understood), but is seemingly NOT.
√ You would think that it would be unnecessary to make the statement — mothers ought “to love their children” (Titus 2:4) since it should be intuitive.
√ Likewise, you might think it ought to be intuitive and unnecessary to challenge husbands to love their wives. Or one can argue the opposite that it was not intuitive in the culture of that day, a day of arranged marriages.
√ How about challenging wives to submit to the leadership of their husbands. Wasn’t that a given in the culture of biblical days, and even today throughout much of the middle east culture? But maybe it was not a given “in the world of practical reality.” There can be an outward submission, without an inward attitude. So the spirit of submission might not be intuitive – something understood as a given because it was so obvious throughout the culture of the day.
√ The Lord God says that you honor your fathers, but you fail to honor me. Doesn’t it seem intuitive that if our fathers of flesh deserve honor, surely the Lord does?
√ The Lord God says that you would never give a blemished lamb to the King, why would you give such to the Lord? Doesn’t it seem intuitive that if we sacrificially give the best to the King, that we would at least give the same to the Lord?
Here is an interesting example from Scripture which also revolves around the idea of “intuitive.” This passage provides information which one would think that the readers would surely know, yet it is included! Why???
“And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.” – Mark 4:18
Of course they were fishers, who else would be cleaning their nets! The people who clean nets in the Lord’s day were fishermen! Who doesn’t know that? Had we seen them cleaning their nets we would have known that they were fishermen – no? It should have been and would have been intuitive to conclude that they were fishermen.
However, the Spirit of God has Matthew include this statement – why? What is that about?
#1) Can I suggest that it is about you and hundreds of others who would be reading this book, who were not fishermen. It is about many who knew little to nothing about their culture. Fishermen cleaned their own nets. There was not a class of servants who did that for them.
#2) The Lord wants us to realize that they are not just performing a task, doing a job, but that this was part of the job! Therefore, as typical and practiced fishermen they were still at the shores of the sea well after that night of fishing. They were the real deal!
However, my aim is to go past a demonstration of the existence of the category of “intuitive” in the Scriptures. There is a rhetorical usefulness with the category of “intuitive.”
You can call up that concept in a speech or message and use it, not just point to its existence or develop a message around those specific passages of Scripture cited above.
Here is a “template” for using the concept or category of “intuitive” as a created area of human knowledge or thought. This listing out of various “templates” or “models” is designed to get you thinking as to their form. It is not exhaustive, but exemplary.
- “_____ is intuitive”
- “_____ is not intuitive.”
- “You might think that this is intuitive. Surely anyone would know or should have known this . . . .”
- “This was never designed to be intuitive. No one would have known it or come up with it on their own . . . .”
- “In this culture, it was intuitive. Those who lived in this society or culture for any length of time well understood naturally that . . . . .”
- “This was foreign to the thinking of those who were raised in a far different culture . . . .”
- “Of course we should think about ____ because the connection is obvious . . . .”
- ” You are not going to see it this way, naturally . . . .”
- ” You will not approach it like this automatically. . . .”
Now what we are setting up is a rhetorical technique to help clarify, explain, expand, understand a passage, principle, point, truth. It is not that we are looking at a passage which is related to the concept of “intuitive” as we cited in the beginning. Rather, we are working with a passage and using the idea of “intuitive” to . . . .
- augment, or
. . . . the point we are making anywhere in the speech or message (introduction, points, statement of the Big Idea, an illustration, or the conclusion).
Let’s give some examples of how to generate content using this “category of thought.” You will find that doing this is simple once you . . . .
- think of a passage / biblical principle / biblical character / biblical event
- focus on the idea – “intuitive”
- Start out writing — “It was not intuitive” that ____ or “It was intuitive that ____” or try running with one of the above template statements.
Let’s give that a try . . . . Here goes . . .
“Naturally, the Lord is going to tell His disciples that they need to fish for men. It was not intuitive to them. They were not raised thinking about “proselyting” for men, seeking out others who wanted to join the Jewish faith. You were either born as a Jew, or you were excluded. If someone came to them who wanted to worship Jehovah, they could be incorporated into the Jewish faith – Rahab – Ruth – Naaman – but no one ever went fishing for these individuals. In fact, with Ruth, Naomi sought to convince Ruth not to leave her Moabite gods. Fishing was new to them. They had never seen it practiced by other Jews (in fact the opposite is what they say – the rejection of Gentiles and Samaritans) – They were never exhorted by the religious leaders to seek the lost.*
It is much more intuitive to us today. We have seen Evangelistic campaigns on a national scale, growing up as part of church life, hearing people share their sincere attempts to speak to others about Christ. When we hear that we are to be fishers of men – we might well respond – “Of course! That is part of being a believer.” Had Jesus not told them, from the very beginning of the call as disciples, that they would be turned into fishers of men, they would never have come up with that idea on their own. They would not have known that following means fishing BECAUSE fishing is following!
We have known that truth for centuries and century after century has taught ‘fishing.’ We stand in a long line of fishermen who have faithfully fished. We stand here today as a believer because someone fished for us. There is nothing strange about being a believer who fishes. What is strange is being a believer who does not fish for others just like someone fished for them unto eternal life!
We know that people will not come to Jesus by tripping across Him, but by someone who must tell them about Him and His work on their behalf.”
Jesus did not have to teach them this because it is intuitive. Of course they were to live a holy life. They knew that. They understood that. The holiness of God was always part of their thinking when it came to God. The pagan gods might have been portrayed or characterized as sensual, immoral, devious, selfish, impatient and angry — but not the God of the Jews. He was a holy God and everyone understood from the earliest days of life that God was holy!
Some today may not grasp the holiness of God. They are living counter-intuitively to all that was obvious to the believers through the centuries. Indeed it was so clearly understood that God is holy and expects His people to live holy lives, that they went to excess at times. What they did not do is go to an excess of lawlessness and then claim that such was the obvious pattern and teaching of the Scriptures.
What was and is obvious to all of God’s people is that we serve a holy God who wants us to live an honest, moral, upright, separated, committed, and good life.
It is intuitive that we cannot live a life which is dishonest or immoral and expect to reach others with the Gospel. Of course our lives matter. We well understand – or should understand that what we do – where we go – how we talk – how we live – all speak a non-verbal message. No one needs to tell us that because we know that – we knew that as unbelievers when we looked at others who named the name of Jesus.
*Mark 23:15 — “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” Those religious leaders who sought to gain followers from the Jewish community who would follow them as their “Rabbi.”