Carol Dweck, Ph.D, wrote a best-selling book that is insightful in evaluating the two different types of thinking that dramatically effect how people live their lives. The book is called Mindset. The first type of thinking that Carol examines is the fixed mindset. It stands in stark contrast to a growth mindset.
People locked in their thinking fall into several traps. First, they believe that they are born with their talents, skills, and smarts, and this leads to static intelligence. Instead of seeing challenges as important, fixed thinkers want to look smart and so they avoid taking risks or action that might show weakness. Fixed thinkers get defensive and are prone to give up easily. They see effort as fruitless, ignore useful negative feedback and rarely admit or correct their deficiencies. They tend to be threatened by the success of others and therefore do not surround themselves with those who are more skilled or intelligent. Their internal monologue is focused on judging. Fixed thinkers tend to plateau early and fail to live up to their potential.
Obadiah 3—Your presumptuous heart has deceived you, you who live in clefts of the rock in your home on the heights, who say to yourself, “Who can bring me down to the ground?”
Obadiah is the shortest book of the Old Testament and was probably written soon after the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem (586 B.C.). The prophet Obadiah is one of seven Old Testament prophets who recorded God’s anger towards the Edomites. As descendants of Esau, the Edomites were related to the Israelites (Gen. 25:21-26,30), but they were never friendly neighbors. Because they helped the Babylonians capture fleeing Israelites, briefly stole their land, and celebrated their demise, they incurred God’s wrath. Obadiah prophesied that every man of Mount Esau would be slaughtered (9). Edom became a cursed nation.
The Edomites are an example of fixed thinking. They were convinced that their mountain fortress would not fall to invaders. They were defensive in nature and felt threatened by Israel’s success. When Moses led Israel out of Egypt, Edom refused to give them passage through their territory (Numbers 20:21). Later they fought on multiple occasions against the Israelites (1 Samuel 14:47, 2 Sam. 8:13, 2Kings 14:7). They were unwilling to risk helping Judah because they were not willing to obey God’s commandments or listen to His prophets. Most revealing they worshiped dead idols—turning their backs on their living Creator.
If you observe leaders who are: insecure, controlling, critical of those around them, quick to find fault, risk-averse, defensive, presumptuous, and, unwilling to put forth great effort, you are seeing fixed thinking at work. Solomon advised,“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths” (Pro. 3:5,6).
God wants our eye fixed on Him, not on experiences.—Watchman Nee in Changed into His Likeness
©2016 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)