THE VALUE OF INTUITION

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Selwyn Hughes wrote in the same edition of Every Day with Jesus, ‘ There is a general agreement amongst educators that basically there are three methods of ‘knowing’:

INTUITION,
RATIONAL THOUGHT, AND
EMPIRICISM

Intuition is internally felt certainty. Sometimes we ‘know’ that a certain way to do something is right even though we have no objective reason for our actions. That is intuition.

Rational thought helps us come up with good reasons why we should do what we do. Here logic and reason prevail.

Empiricism, which involves experimentation, helps us ‘know’ things through trial and error.

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Some have had the experience, I am sure. The sequence of events is almost always similar: A problematic situation arises and a dire need for solution and then, without prompting someone seems to know what ought to be done to resolve the situation. This is irrespective of competency and experience. There is a story my father shared with me that reveals a good case of intuition.

One day, my father and a couple of his friends, when they were young men, had gone to weed a cassava farm. As they uprooted grasses, one of them who had preferred using a machete to bare hands inadvertently cut his hand. By the blood spurt, the others realized it was a deep cut. When he cried out in agony, panic ensued. The boys were unprepared to give first aid!

When the wave of panic passed, they pondered what to do to stop the bleeding. It was this time a clear thought came into my father’s head to uproot a tuber of cassava, scrap off bits of the cassava flesh and cover the gash. When my father disclosed the idea to the group, nobody had objections. When my father applied the scrapping to the wound, to everyone’s surprise, the bleeding quickly ceased.

Years later, I learned in biochemistry classes that cassava tubers prior to processing contains a chemical compound with stringent properties (that is, it is able to constrict blood vessels). Through physiologic action, the compound causes a tightening of damaged blood vessel walls to stern bleeding. Back then, my father and his friends did not know this detail, but the Maker of Everything shared this knowing when a set of boys got stuck in a dire situation.

Cambridge English Dictionary describes Intuition, as immediate apprehension of truth (reality, fact or solution), or supposed truth, in the absence of conscious rational processes. We should be interested in the phrase ‘in the absence of rational processes’.

The primary rational process by which we normally arrive at the truth, reality, fact or solution is through thinking but with intuition, the relevance of thinking is minimized. Intuition, I firmly believe, is a form of revelation, but one, which operates by a trigger-response mode, making the basis a prerogative of God. Nobody should go about life only trying to intuit however, it is certainly not recommended. But as your faith swells, the Lord would let you into deeper levels of knowing at His own pleasure, to perfect His glory.

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