Counter- factual thinking

By Dave Henning / August 20, 2015

“Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”- Psalm 32:9

John Ortberg presents common myths seven and eight about doors, as found in Chapter 4 of All the Places to Go.

7.  God can never force me through a door I don’t like.  In the Bible, Pharaoh, Saul, Jeremiah, and Jonah all experienced the fallacy of this myth.  Conversely, Balaam wanted to travel to Moab, but God used Balaam’s donkey to prevent his passage.

Pastor Ortberg observes that the psalmist distinguishes between two forms of guidance.  The type of guidance appropriate for mature persons is based upon reason and choice.  The “bit and bridle” approach uses pressure and pain to force compliance.  People are forced to address what they’ve been refusing to acknowledge all along.  John concludes: “Don’t wait for the pain of life to force you through a door that wisdom calls you to choose now.”

8.  If I have chosen the wrong door, I have missed “God’s will for my life”, and will have to settle for second best.  Social scientists refer to this as “counter- factual thinking”.  When we don’t like the outcome of one decision we obsess over what might have happened in an alternative hypothetical scenario.  This is an example of worldly sorrow.  The opposite, godly sorrow, creates energy and is filled with hope that God even can use the wrong road to bring us to the right place.

Today’s question: What Bible verses fill you with hope to defeat counter- factual thinking? Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Standing at the door”

About the author

Dave Henning


Leave a comment:

Call Now Button