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The Art of Choosing and Identity

June 30, 2010

I would love to continue a look at the book The Art of Choosing here. It is one of the hardest books I have read about how we behave. It has given me much food for thought and I am still processing everything I have read. I realize all things are possible with God but if you don’t even recognize you have a problem why would you ever even think to ask God for the strength to overcome?

I would like you to take a look at a picture from the book. I think that the research behind this says it all as it relates to our identity. What you need to do is take a look at the following picture for five seconds and then describe what you see without looking. Go ahead I will give you the time you need.

© American Psychological Association

Have I given you enough time? Did you see three fish? I realize that the glare from my iPad the photo may not be ideal but I still think it at least will give you the idea. Did you see three fish or did you describe the snail, small frog, five fish and the vegetation?

The majority of Americans, those raised with an individualistic mindset, see three fish. People who have a collectivist mindset, one focused on community, describe everything they see. They often times even start with something other than the three fish.

So, which one are you? You may not be surprised that when I did the exercise I fell squarely in the collectivist mindset. I started with the vegetation and worked my way around. What does it mean for me? Well it really makes me think hard about how I minister, my focus and how I pastor in the American church setting.

What about you? What does it make you think about? Going to Long John Silvers?

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