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THE WORLD’S FOOLISH, FUTILE WISDOM

A past issue of the Reader's Digest listed the following stupid instruction labels on products, collected by Richard Lederer.

    ĽOn a camera: "This camera only works when there is film inside."
    ĽOn a package of airline peanuts: "Open packet and eat contents."
    ĽOn a chain saw: "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands."
    ĽOn a mirror for a bicycle helmet: "Remember — objects in the mirror are actually behind you."
    ĽOn a steering-wheel lock: `.`Warning — remove lock before driving."

These instructions make me wonder about all the talk about man's big brain and how smart he has become. Modem man has, in the words of Romans 1:22a, professed himself to be wise. But that self. flattering opinion of human reason and intellect is diametrically opposed to the Bible's description of human thought systems which leave God out. The words of 1 Corinthians 3:18-20 warn us there is more than one kind of wisdom: "Let no one deceive himself. . . .the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. —The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." Careful now. God is not down on high I-Q's and He is not anti-intellectual or anti-education. But human reason unaided by Divine revelation will always turn out to be radically different from God's way of thinking. Want an example or two? God's wisdom says, "Flee sexual immorality" (1 Corinthians 6:18). But the wisdom of this world s says, "If it feels good, do it. Just practice safe sex." Yet after 40 years of "safe sex" and "sex education," a host of problems related to sexual immorality (ranging from unwanted diseases to unwanted children to unexpected guilt) still plagues millions in our country. The world's wisdom says, "Drink but don't drive." In spite of this brilliant philosophy, 16,885 of the recorded 43,443 traffic fatalities in 2005 were alcohol related — a whopping 39% (madd.com, click on stats & resources). God's wisdom says, "Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper" (Proverbs 23:31-32). Instead of, "Drink but don't drive," God's wisdom teaches us, "Drive but don't drink." Examples could be multiplied. But whether the subject is sin or sex or salvation, marriage or morals or money, family or finances or faith, pornography or the plan of salvation, the schemes of man never agree with the thinking found in Scripture. The thinking of man may impress himself, but without guidance from God, man's wisdom frequently proves foolish and futile.

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ