Don’t Trust the Herd

Just when I began to lose hope, I heard people have had enough of Lady Gaga.  Of course, soon enough, the thundering herd will head off over a different cliff.  There is no accounting for how powerful and unpredictable groupthink is.  Fads of pop culture are relatively harmless.  More serious is what happens when people cluster around social and political ideas without thinking.  How did Hitler get to be so powerful?  How did Rob Ford get elected?  How does extreme political correctness get imposed?  Groupthink about how to make money gave us the tech bubble and the housing crash.  People who broke away from the pack and followed their own ideas did better during those tough days.

As a rule of thumb, when everybody agrees about something, watch out!  Think to yourself, “Can all those people really be right?”  Jesus said:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.  (Matthew 7:13-14

Jesus was talking about how to find life, real life.  He said, when it comes to life, the thundering herd has it wrong.  It’s not happiness or money or a better job and house.  It’s not thrills or music or fame or intoxication or even great achievement in your career.  Those paths are packed hard with countless footprints of those who thought they would find life and were disappointed.  Those gates resemble the bent and trampled doors of a city Walmart on Black Friday.  But the herd is wrong.

So how do we find the “narrow gate?”  Don’t get the wrong idea: the “narrow gate” is not for the “narrow minded.”  Narrow mindedness is another form of groupthink.  That herd is wrong, too.  The narrow gate Jesus referred to “leads to life” – abundant, full, rich and satisfying life.  And He showed us how to find it:

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.  (John 10:9)

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