Narrow framing

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By Dave Henning / June 22, 2016

“One of the archenemies of what if is narrow framing.”- Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson discusses the concept of narrow farming in Chapter 18 of If.  Pastor Batterson defines narrow framing as a decision-making villain characterized by:

” . . . defining our choices too narrowly.  It’s only considering two options when there might be a third.  It’s taking a thin slice of facts into consideration while ignoring the preponderance of the evidence.”

Mark further observes that we overestimate our ability to predict the future because we are under the impression that we know more than we know.  Because we operate under that assumption, we think we control more than we control.  Control, Pastor Batterson states, is an illusion.

Referencing the book Decisive by authors and brothers Chip and Dan Heath, Mark adapts their methods of counteracting narrow framing while using a biblical perspective.  We can use the Bible to:

  • reality-test our assumptions against the truth
  • attain distance before deciding by getting a God’s-eye view
  • widen our options with the promises of God

The religious assumptions of the Sadducees and the Pharisees created a narrow framing that left them unable to see the miracles Jesus performed right in front of them.  Nor could they imagine that the Messiah would be born in a stable, heal on the Sabbath, or eat with tax collectors.

Mark describes how to properly steward a miracle:

“The way you steward a miracle is by believing God for the next miracle- an even bigger and bolder miracle.  In other words, each miracle becomes a high leverage point for what if.  So as we grow older, our faith gains more and more leverage. . . . So the world doesn’t get smaller but gets infinitely larger until all things are possible.”

Today’s question: How have you used the Bible to counteract narrow framing?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Two-dimensional understanding”

About the author

    Dave Henning


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