In physics, resonance means that an object vibrates most strongly when subjected to impulses at a specific frequency that is closest to that object’s natural frequency – which depends on the size, shape, and composition of the object. In this way, objects have their strongest natural reaction, or resonance, when hit with vibrations that align with that object’s own natural frequency.
I think we humans also powerfully demonstrate the principal of resonance. When we receive information or experience events, we are quick to judge based on how well it resonates with our pre-existing beliefs, our inclinations, our experiences, and our opinions. Recent political events have shown that even when presented with the same data, those in different political camps draw vastly different conclusions. We filter facts, make assumptions, and generally judge the validity of information by whether it resonates with our pre-conceived notions. And increasingly, our filtering and judging is further distorted when we only listen to those on our side, to those in our tribe.
The problem with this is that we are fallen, sinful people. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and “None is righteous, no, not one . . . All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Romans 3:10). Sin has distorted and corrupted us.
This means that what resonates with us is not always what is good or true. Our “natural” frequency is off-kilter. Because of this, it’s dangerous to judge the world by how it resonates with us. In fact, returning to the physics of resonance, perfect resonance can produce increasingly strong vibrations that lose control and eventually shatter the object itself – like the ear-splitting soprano at the opera shattering glass.
Thankfully, we have a source of objective truth that stands outside of our own distortions and fallible frequencies. God is perfectly true, perfectly righteous, and perfectly good. Through study of God’s Word, prayer, and the work of the Holy Spirit, we can – by His grace – seek to live not by our own decayed senses, but toward God’s perfect standards.
A classical Christian education like that at Morning Star Academy can be especially helpful here: Recognizing God’s primary authority and revelation in the Bible, as well as a child’s natural curiosity about the world, classical Christian education can – in the words of MSA’s philosophy – “train a student’s reason to bring him/her in harmony with the created order” – not the other way around (bringing the created order into harmony with a student’s reason).
How else can we seek to live by God’s standards and not our own? We can find our identity in Christ rather than treasuring our self-expression. We can find our communal identity in our church and as God’s people rather than clinging to our individual autonomy and personal liberty. We can focus our energy on loving and serving others based on their needs rather than gazing inward and expecting people to meet us on our terms. As the Apostle Paul said, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22) And we can encourage one another through fellowship and prayer – “build one another up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11) and exhort one another “that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13).
May God’s power be at work in our lives and may the word of Christ “dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16) – even resonantly.