Journal Prov 28 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. (Pro 28:26)
Observation: Staying with the subject of wisdom and foolishness…I wonder what this really means (snicker). Does this have a hidden meaning or (gasp) it means what it says?
Application: To adamantly clarify: No hidden meaning.
But, the statement above does have implication over all my efforts of being an obedient Christian.
Trust in my own noggin equals being a fool. What, then, am I supposed to trust in? Default to? Does this mean every thought that in bouncing around between my ears is suspect?
Ok: back to reality. It is important to be aware of this biblical truth. However, I can’t freeze up in any respects concerning my daily life—the key is to replace the foolishness with wisdom.
Refer to what Paul said to the Roman church: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind—that by testing you may discern what is the will of God: what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Ro 12:2
So, both Solomon and Paul agree: The mind has a fault (identified as Sin) in it that is untrustworthy. Whatever is untrustworthy about the mind needs flushing out and replaced by wisdom. The only wisdom worth using as a replacement for untrustworthy thoughts is wisdom originating from God—or, by extension, His Word.
Therefore the spiritual discipline of not just reading the Bible but studying it now makes sense and has validity. If anyone was like me as a beginning Christian just reading eventually got old. “Doing” took the place of learning for the obvious reason that doing stuff is more stimulating than learning stuff. Worse, my “study” consisted of cherry picking Scriptures to use as arrows, effectively weaponizing the Word of God. (My goodness: my face is in my hands when I consider what I have done…)
Ok, I have sort of summarized the background, what then do I do? How do I go forward? Simply put it is practice, practice, practice.
Sports analogy: How did I learn to throw a baseball? I threw it over and over. I didn’t get disappointed when I threw it badly—I threw it again. I listened to coaches. And I threw it again. I got older, I got stronger, I got better. I kept throwing.
It is the same with renewing my mind, focusing on specific characteristics of Christianity (Fruit of the Spirit sort of stuff). Old proverb: “Repetition is the mother of knowledge.” It works the same way with training to be a Disciple of Christ. Don’t rely on an osmosis training program…
Prayer: Father, I am wordy today. I am supposing it is because I need to hear and read this over and over again, reminding myself of why I am Justified and why I pursue Sanctification and why these are separate subjects to study. You see my heart in turmoil, my mind flirting with foolishness more and more and why my current situation is a result of compounded foolishness over the past few years. Continue to reveal my faults that I may continue to confess them, ask forgiveness, and repent. Help me to devise a course of action, rooted in Biblical wisdom, to pursue. Thank you for my wife o so very much. AMEN.