You're So Closed-Minded!

     “You’re so closed-minded!” Has a statement like this ever been said to you? This idea of an “open mind” has always been sort of funny to me. See, when people say someone should have an open mind, they don’t really want the person to be open to all points of view - just theirs. What they are saying is, “You should agree with me, even though I’m closed off to your views.”

     G.K. Chesterton made a great observation, “An open mind is really a mark of foolishness, like an open mouth. Mouths and minds were made to shut; they were made to open only in order to shut” (Illustrated London News. October 10, 1908). Chesterton expounded, “The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid” (Autobiography).

     Scripture supports this same idea. Ephesians 4:14-15 explains, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

     To put it simply, the purpose of an open mind is to find truth. This doesn’t mean we just float around with whatever is popular or seems good. As Ephesians 4 detailed out, this is what childish, immature minds do. 

     The problem is finding balance. We need to be people who are always looking for the most solid, hole-proof truth out there. Once found, the mind should only then become open again in an attempt to find something more solid than before. Often a simple examination of another view can find so many holes that it’s not even worth further consideration. It’s not truth. If we really want to find truth, God has guaranteed we will find it (Matthew 7:7-8). The best part is we already know where the truth is: in Jesus (John 14:6). If we go to Him and diligently and honestly examine His teachings, we will find the truth.

     Too often people live by the motto, “I’ve already made up my mind, stop confusing me with the facts.”