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Friday, May 2, 2014

The Dangers of Ultra-Open-Mindedness


Being ultra-open-minded has its dangers. A mind that is so open that it is accepting of everything, in the long run could produce a heart that is hardened to the truth. An ultra-open-mind could lead to an ultra-hardened-heart. It goes something like this. You are so “open” to everything that everyone has to say, that you let everything in, without check, without filter. You don’t know how to differentiate between trash and fresh produce. In the end, the trash makes its way from mind to heart, and unbeknownst to you, it hardens your heart little by little, and one day, voila, you are hearing the truth and you can’t even recognize it. In fact, when you hear it, you have such repulsion to it that you cannot bear to hear it. Do you know someone with such a hard heart? It could be that they opened their minds a little too liberally to all that is on offer from the Vanity Fair of the world. Maybe you yourself are such, and your hard heart is pricked as you read this.


An ultra-open-mind is like an open kitchen sink drain without a filter over it. Eventually, it gets clogged and becomes unreceptive. I recently had a bad case of a clogged kitchen drain. The previous tenants were apparently pouring everything down the drain—coffee grind, oil, and fat. We had the privilege of dueling with our sink to unclog it, for quite some time. We tried various “guaranteed to work” solvents and solutions that were supposed to unclog the drain. Also, a plumber or two came and offered different options. Finally, after weeks of trying, one especially skilled plumber showed up. He knew exactly what the problem was. He got to the “heart” of the sink, and fixed it. The problem was not the pipes themselves. There is a special catchment that goes beyond the pipes, that is meant to collect particulate matter. Over time, this catchment got coated and filled with fat, and oil, and coffee grind. It hardened into a hard block that would not yield to any solvent, or allow anything to pass. Nothing could melt it. It had to be taken out and replaced with a new piece. All of this happened because, to begin with, trash was carelessly being dumped down the drain.


An ultra-open-mind is like a kitchen drain in which you dump all things, carelessly, without a filter, not realizing that it will clog and fight you and everyone else. The heart becomes like stone when the mind has no check and restraint. Liberalism of all stripes does it damage, and often it is irreparable. The only thing that can be done is for new catchment area—a new heart—to be installed by someone who is able to diagnose the problem and remedy it.


The God of the Bible has diagnosed the human heart. He says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) That’s all human hearts. But how much more the ultra-open-minded heart—the one that turns to stone because of all the trash it has allowed in? Only this God, who has diagnosed the heart, can remedy it. He says, When they come there, they will remove all its detestable things and all its abominations from it. And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.” (Ezekiel 11:18-20)Consider what you let enter your mind and sink into your heart. It has been said that the greatest distance a man must travel is the distance between his head and his heart. If this distance is being traversed by uninvited trash, it will take a great undoing to clear up. Instead of letting everything in, be cautious and search for the truth. Allow truth to enter, not trash. Truth sets free. Trash blocks. The wise thing to do is to carefully watch what enters your mind to eventually cement itself in the heart. The good news is that a new heart can be received. If you come to this God of the Bible, through His Son Jesus Christ, He will give you a new heart, one that is open to the Truth, who is Jesus. When you come to Him, He receives you, and gives you a changed mind, and a new heart. You know the truth, and it sets you free, and you know better than to be ultra-open-minded. Instead you become ultra-mindful of what and who you open up to.    


© Kenny Damara, 2014     

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