Some slogans just stick with you, no matter how much time passes. Some clever phrasing or a catchy tune becomes a part of your psyche after you hear it a few times. Some are very simple, but capture the essence of the company, product or service that is being touted.
One such phrase has actually been around since the 1920s and is still widely recognized around the world. It originated with Thomas J. Watson, Sr., founder of the venerable, multi-national company International Business Machines, now universally known as IBM. It was first used internally, within the company, but by the 1930s the single word “Think” was widely used in promoting the many facets of this enterprise. “Think” signs were everywhere, and were produced in many languages. There were some hilarious spoofs of the iconic tag line, yet everyone knew the origin, which is the sign of a successful ad campaign.
What made it successful? It seemed to capture the need to think deeply about all areas of the company’s core business in order to produce the innovations and cutting edge technology that enabled the firm to dominate their field for a generation. Thinking worked for IBM.
Albert Schweitzer, the famous English physician who dedicated himself to helping others in Africa, was asked why mankind seemed to have so many problems. He reportedly responded by saying: “Men simply don’t think!” While that is not the whole answer, it seems to be a big part of it. Thinking is hard work for most people, which may explain why so few practice in-depth thinking. Were they to do so, it would bring into focus the source of many if not most of the problems they face.
It probably will not surprise you to know that the instruction book for mankind, the Holy Bible, has much to say on this important subject. For example, the writer of Proverbs knew that we become what we think about all day long: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7).
Yes, right thinking is necessary if we are to avoid the pitfalls that plague so many today. Notice: “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (James 1:26). The Apostle Paul put it this way: “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). Truly useful thinking requires humility.
Paul also gave wonderful instruction on how to guide one’s thinking to obtain the results we really want in life: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).
“Peace” of mind in a troubled world—isn’t that what everyone wants? It all starts with right thinking, with recognizing that profound changes may be required in your life to bring you into harmony with the way of life described in the Bible. The biblical word for this kind of change is “repentance.” Jesus Christ said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5:32).
It seems that IBM had it right. To identify and make needed changes, we must “Think.”
Read our informative article “The Mystery of the Mind” to learn more about what makes human thought so special as part of God’s plan. And to help protect yourself from wrong ideas, watch our telecast, “Who Is the Great Deceiver?”