Melvyn Tan
September 29, 2013 — By tanmelvyn@gmail.com

Why Do We Do What We Do?

[blockquote source=”Isaiah 58:11 (NLT)“]The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.[/blockquote] Why do we do what we do when we know what we know? You have probably heard this before – fake it till you […]

[blockquote source=”Isaiah 58:11 (NLT)“]The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.[/blockquote]

Why do we do what we do when we know what we know?

You have probably heard this before – fake it till you make it.  I for one, do not subscribed to that idea.  I was a firm believer that until you understand it at the intellectual or cognitive level, you can never demonstrate it fully at the behavioural level.

I read an article some time back on the exploration of mathematical concepts and performance of investigative tasks as two key strategies to engage the minds and hearts of students in Singapore.

The premise of engagement in learning is founded on the core assumption that using student-centric learning strategies will enable students to be better engaged, hence leading to better learning.  What was interesting in the research was that while some teachers “found these approaches useful”, others do not see the relevance of it because they were “more concerned about covering the syllabus and preparing their students for tests and examinations.”

This, can be attributed to the mind-set of those teachers.  In fact, I believed that many of them, while research had shown that the approaches were useful, many of them were skeptical because they were still clinging onto their existing belief systems or paradigm.

The researchers concluded that for the “initiative to work, teachers must first believe the value of it. Thus it is very important to change the mind-sets of these teachers before they can teach less so that their students will learn more.”

Sometimes, when it comes to putting God first, my mind-set is just like those teachers described in the research paper.  And sometimes, even when I execute what God has instructed me, I still have that lingering doubtful thoughts.  I did not carry it out in a whole-hearted manner.

Today’s verse serves as a reminder for me that “the LORD will guide me”, even in tough situations.  But in order for me to receive it, I must not “just do it” (insert Nike’s swoosh here) but do it whole-heartedly.  What that means and how to translate that into everyday living, think ABC:

  • Affective: this is defined as having that feeling of belonging to God and of valuing the guidance given by the Word – most importantly it is to be grateful to God for revealing to us the ways forward;
  • Behavioural: this is referred to carrying it out – critical here is to be focused when executing what has been revealed to us, in other words, to be totally present
  • Cognitive: this is to fully invest in seeking the understanding – it is essential that we schedule time to invest in understanding the Word of God

Dear God, we thank You for have never letting us walk alone or leaving us on our own.  Thank you for being faithful God.  Please help us as we seek Your guidance through Your Word at let Your Word work on us at all three levels, cognitive, behavioural, and affective.  We pray this in Jesus name, Amen.

PS: Was listening to Matt Redman – Never Once as I was posting this article.