By Jack Wilkie
If you look at the entirety of human history, it’s easy to see that we live in the golden age of intellectual laziness. Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube can make us think we’re “experts” on a topic after investing just a few minutes. With more information at our fingertips than ever before, we’ve been given the ability to customize our online experience so that we can get our opinion on a matter hand-delivered to us in seconds.
Consider what happens any time something major happens in the political world. People on both sides know where they stand and are repeating their side’s arguments almost instantaneously. Or, remember when we were all terrified of Ebola (and the bird flu… and the swine flu… and now the Zika virus). Look at how the internet took the Ryan Lochte scandal and ran with it in the last week (all before a more thorough investigation had really come out). Consider how easy it is to pull up our favorite Christian website or Facebook page to get an answer to a Bible question we may have.
We live in a time where we don’t have to think on what we believe, and we certainly don’t have to study. We just have to go find an answer, which is always available in a matter of a few keystrokes and the push of a button. Basically, we’ve been given the chance to be intellectually lazy.
When we sell our independent thought at such a cheap price, we’re vulnerable to be led astray in all kinds of different directions. That’s why we see a world around us that is so driven by emotion and changing opinion. Sins that were considered unhealthy even by worldly standards as little as 5-10 years ago are now in the mainstream and beyond criticism. Fear is constantly being pushed on us. The world needs biblical wisdom now more than ever, and the world needs Christians who can’t be manipulated by the world’s slick packaging of their own ideas.
But wisdom and understanding simply can’t be picked up in 30 second clips. The book of Proverbs goes to great lengths to remind us that wisdom has high value and must be pursued. It tells us that wisdom is to be pursued more than great riches. It tells us that we have to desire wisdom and avoid the kind of people who will pull us away from sound teaching. It tells us that we need to listen to the kind of people who will guide us to wisdom, and keep their teachings on our hearts. And, most importantly, it tells us that wisdom begins and ends with the fear of the Lord. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
If we’re going to navigate this day and age with so much misinformation, we have to value the wisdom of the Lord. The world needs people who are spiritually mature to lead the way out of all of this confusion, and we have to stop settling for the 30 second, drive by cultural analysis that is handed to us day after day to keep us from independent thought. We can’t allow ourselves to be manipulated by fear or desensitized by exposure to sin or confused by widespread teaching of false doctrine. God needs His people to be those who are firmly rooted in the kind of fear of the Lord that says we listen to Him above all else and we keep our eyes focused on Him, no matter what distractions come our way and no matter how hard the world tries to knock us off course.