"Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones." Pr. 3:7-8, ESV.
We all know what it's like to philosophize. Teenagers often like to do it (though some of us refuse to grow out of it) - analyzing, criticizing, thinking about things, trying ideas to see if they make sense. But most of use aren't as brilliant as we'd like to think. In spite of our mental poverty (or perhaps because of it), we tend to think pretty highly of our own ruminations. The trouble is, our hearts are inclined toward evil, and our minds have been broken by sin.
The contrast made in the Proverb is surprising. The dichotomy should read, "be wise in your own eyes; OR, seek God's wisdom." Instead, the choice given is, "be wise in your own eyes; OR, fear God and reject evil." Our own counsels do not lead to life. Our philosophizing is seldom morally neutral. The point: do not, in spite of what Disney tells you, listen to your heart.
If you want healing in your flesh, refreshment in your bones, then stop listening to your own brilliant counsel. Stop trusting in what seems like your own profound genius. Instead, learn what it means to fear God and say no to evil - then you will start to taste the good life.
There is a great irony here: when we pursue happiness on our terms, we will come up disappointed. When we give up on our own wisdom (and instead trust God), we find wisdom indeed; and wisdom leads to joy.
Today, when we face the temptation to trust in ourselves as pretty smart people, let's remember what the choice really is: folly leading to death, or God's wisdom, leading to refreshment. Refreshment down to our very bones.
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