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Spiritual Dissonance

  • Sermon Details
  • Pastor Name: Jonathan Cornell
  • Date & Time: January 31, 2016  |  10:00am

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Where are We Going?

In the field of psychology, there are two concepts known as Cognitive Consistency and Cognitive Dissonance. One suggests that at the core of our lives is a desire to have consistency in our beliefs. We want what we believe about the world around us to be consistent with the way things actually are. For example: Each and every year around about this time, there is one group of people who begin framing a mental picture in which their dreamed of and deeply desired outcome comes true. However, for a century, their reality has never matched up with their desire. That group of people…Cubs fans.

Maintaining this consistency is a powerful motive. It can even lead people to behave in irrational—even maladaptive ways—just to preserve the feeling of consistency, even though it poses a threat to their grip of reality.

When Jesus begins his teaching in Nazareth, the people of his hometown marveled at what he was saying. “This is Joseph’s son, the hometown boy, here in our midst; listen to the wonderful things he’s saying.” The crowds went wild. And everyone waited eagerly for Jesus to step up and knock one out of the park. As they sat expectantly, eager to hear Jesus confirm their special identity, their chosenness, Jesus took the conversation in a different direction. Jesus’ words were like a wrong note in the ears of his hearers.

The concept of Cognitive Dissonance, on the other hand, is when we have conflicting attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. This produces discomfort. We’re thrown off our axis, taken out of our comfort zone, and forced to wrestle with new information. Cognitive Dissonance is one of the most powerful factors in positive growth in cognitive development. This feeling of discomfort is not a bad thing; in fact, it is actually a very good thing.

Download the entire transcript here: Luke 4 14-30 Spiritual Dissonance

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