The Power of Suggestion
I recently posted a slow-motion video of my dogs playing with O Fortuna playing in the background. One of the comments on that post was someone sharing the following YouTube video with an orchestra performing the song and ‘misheard’ lyrics applied on screen as they sing in Latin. It literally made me laugh out loud.
If you watch the video it’s hard to believe those are NOT the words they are singing. Even with the absurdity of the phrases. That’s because once it’s in your head your brain tends to make sense of it. And while they aren’t singing this song in English, the words dubbed on the screen have to at least offer a plausible match for what their mouths are doing. In the case of this video, it is shockingly good.
I watch a similar thing happen at our gatherings for Communion Wine Co. When we discuss what we taste in a wine, we make it more likely other people will taste it too. If you hear I taste grapefruit in my Sauvignon Blanc, odds are you will too (and again, there has to be a plausibility that this flavor is actually in the wine). There’s tremendous power in suggestion. It’s also why it’s fun to enjoy a bottle of wine with others.
As you’d imagine, the power of suggestion gets put to some nefarious uses. Anyone trying to sell you anything is likely taking advantage of it in every way possible. It’s why the young salesman at your door tells you he just had a great conversation with one of your “neighbors.”
But we can also use this for our benefit. We can invite trustworthy sources to help us better embrace realities about us that we may find hard to accept. We can surround ourselves with life-giving friends who speak into us when we need it (and we can also create boundaries around people who have the opposite effect).
In particular, we can choose to give Jesus the power of suggestion in our life.
- What does Jesus think of you?
- What is Jesus asking you to do?
- What does Jesus want for you?
- What emotions does Jesus feel toward you?
A great way to dive into these questions is to spend time in prayer imagining yourself having a conversation with Jesus. You can focus on any of these four questions (or infinite others) as you allow yourself to experience Jesus. Greg Boyd wrote a helpful book on how to do this (see: Seeing is Believing).
Try letting Jesus’ voice be the loudest suggestion in your life and see what happens.Try letting Jesus' voice be the loudest suggestion in your life and see what happens. Click To Tweet
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