Proverbs 23;7 For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (AMP)
Thinking outside of the box is a “colloquialism”.
A colloquialism is a concept describing your pattern of thinking.
- Thinking "inside" the box is not always bad. It’s important for organized, rational thinking. Just think of a doctor’s surgery – that surgery needs to be well organized so they can find their patient's medical files within seconds and the doctor needs to have a process to diagnose diseases.
- Thinking "outside" of the box means we are not bound by old ways of thinking and using the medical illustration, it means doctors need to be innovative enough to employ new methods to diagnose new diseases.
In the marketplace, people who think outside of the box are called trendsetters and are highly sought after. But it’s not easy to think outside of the box because you will get criticised.
I recall a banker in our church who was setting up a new line of business for the global bank he works for. He was presenting some new innovative methods and his ideas were continually rejected and criticised. After six or so months others began to come around to his way of thinking – but it took some patience and prayer along the way.
But we even see Jesus being criticized for doing new things.
In Luke 13:10-17 we read a story about Jesus healing a woman on the Sabbath. Now back then that was radical! What He was doing was messing with religious legalism that was so entrenched, that religious rules were elevated over justice and mercy. So when Jesus healed on the Sabbath, the religious leaders were deeply enraged and highly offended.
Jesus didn’t just understand the letters of the law, He also carried a spirit of mercy.
And that’s how we are called to think. It's a radical new way to think outside of the box. People will come into the church and they will be carrying the pain and the baggage of the world. And instead of trying to change them and treat them by changing their pattern of living, offer them the mercies of God and allow His love and grace to transform them from the inside out.
Religion tries to change the person's lifestyle or behavior. Mercy changes the heart. This is called the world of grace. It’s not new but Christianity today is going through a revolution of grace right now – it's a new way of thinking… “thinking outside of the box”. It’s powerful.
Our church is filled with people who have been radically transformed by the grace of God. In fact, the more grace we show them, the more life-change we see. It’s amazing! I guess that’s why they call it Amazing Grace!