Spiritual Mental Models: Better Thinking. Better Habits. Better Action.
In life, if your mental model (world-view), doesn’t change, your outcome will stay the same.
A mental model is an explanation of an individuals’ thought process, about how something works in the real world. It is a representation of the surrounding world, the relationships between its various parts, and a person’s intuitive perception about his or her own acts and their consequences.
If you seek transformational change, the most powerful work you can do, is to examine your mental models at work in your life! Very little deep change happens when mental models are not examined and changed. Unfortunately, self-reinforcing paradigms keep us from seeing all the relevant data about any controversial situation.
Spiritual mental models are, to your brain-as apps are, to your smartphone. Just like apps, they help you make decisions, solve problems, help you to see and respond in the world in an entirely new way…
Your mental model, guides your perception and your behavior; the thinking tools that you use to understand life, make decisions, and solve problems. It will determine how you define success!
Let’s start with the most rigid, crippling and external form of mental conduct, the Pharisee Mental Model.
Mental Model 1-Pharaseeism
Pharisees were a school of thought that taught very strict, and rigid forms of religion in smaller matters, but were careless and loose in “weightier matters. (love, respect, no respect of persons, fairness, justice and mercy and faith) They had completely lost the meaning and purpose of human decency. Their mental model was like dressing up a dead body, giving it a fine sendoff, yet it was…only for show.
Phariseeism was compared to tombstones in graveyards-the resting-places of the dead, where there are foul odors, worms and corruption. (thank god for the dirt and depth that covers them.) Back in those times, those tombstones were annually whitewashed to prevent the people from accidentally coming in contact with them. The graves were dressed up and kept clean and white as snow, a very striking emblem of a memorial, but in essence, was just full of graves filled with dead bones, rotting flesh and showmanship.
As with the Pharisees, often we dress up our outside, yet the inside remains the same. ie…we clean-up the outside of the cup but not what is on the inside. Outward forms of genuiness-which usually includes obtrusive religiousness, pathological guilt and hypocrisy.
So the Pharisees, though their outward conduct appeared well-meaning, their hearts were full of pretended respect, honor, hypocrisy, envy, pride, lust, and malice. They made sure that the graves and memorial gardens were repaired and beautified and this appeared as if they honored them, but in most cases, disregarded and disrespected human life, while they were living.
We sometimes think, if we had lived when Christ was upon earth, that we would not have despised and rejected him, as men then did; yet Christ in His Spirit, in His word, in His ministers, was and is still no better treated.
Let us remember that He who sees hearts…has a right to tell harsh truths, and that, it is true kindness, to strip off masks which hide from men, their own real character.
The most powerful, positive change in our mental models comes as we surrender to God and live forward with a grateful heart.
New Mental Models Can Be Created
Learning a new mental model gives you a new way to see your life, career, relationships, success, as well as God and the world!
If mental models determine most of what we do and think, and if they keep us from seeing the obvious, how do we change our mental models?
- Recognize that we have them and that they may be the reason we aren’t as effective as we’d like to be.
- Name the mental models that affect you and decide if you want to do something about them.
- Decide if you are willing to pay the price of changing your mental models.
- Imagine a new reality. What would you have to believe and be willing to do?
- Be willing to dream and imagine a world where your life does make a drastic difference.
During the summer months, we will be examining other spiritual mental models that either make us effective (successful), or ineffective. (disillusioned)