The Wrong Kind of Wisdom

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

–Matthew 7:15

The word philosophy comes from two Greek words: phileo, which means “love,” and sophia, which means “wisdom.” Philosophy is the love of wisdom. What’s wrong with that? Isn’t wisdom a good thing? After all, Proverbs 4:5 says, “Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!”

Yes, wisdom is a good thing–as long as it’s the right kind of wisdom. There are two kinds of wisdom in the world. One kind of wisdom places God at the center of the universe. Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

But there is another kind of wisdom that places humans at the center of the universe. This wisdom says humans are basically good, that all our problems are the result of what other people have done to us, and that the solutions to all of humanity’s problems are found within ourselves. That is human wisdom, and it is the basis of every false philosophy and false religion in the world.

Paul said philosophy based on human wisdom is “empty deception” (Colossians 2:8). It looks appealing and promises to satisfy your deepest needs, but ultimately it’s bankrupt to provide real answers. Instead, human philosophy can lead to destruction. That’s why Paul warned, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception” (v. 8). Satan is trying to take captive as many people as he can, and many times he uses human philosophy to do so. He lures non-Christians to eternal death, but he also lures Christians away from God. If you are a genuine Christian, you can’t lose your salvation, but chasing after human philosophy can rob you of the riches that belong to you in Christ Jesus.

Sometimes Christians and non-Christians are lured away by overt cults and false religions. Other times, people are lured away by more subtle philosophies–they may have a Christian wrapping, yet at the core, they’re nothing but human wisdom. In 1 Timothy 4:1, Paul warned about the “doctrines of demons.” All false religions and false philosophies are demonic because they lead people away from the true God. But Satan is clever–he doesn’t want people to see these philosophies for what they really are, so he masks them in attractive disguises.

In Matthew 7:15, Jesus said, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” We must be grounded in our faith so we are not lured away by human philosophy.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “The Problem with Philosophy” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2012.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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